Champagne Bruno Paillard says it deserves more credit for pioneering the publication of disgorgement dates on bottles.
Paillard decided to speak out after reading press reports about other Champagne houses deciding to reveal dates for disgorgement – the removal of yeasts after secondary fermentation, prior to dosage.
Last year, Krug launched an ID code for its ‘multi-vintage’ blend, Grande Cuvée, to help consumers understand how the timing of disgorgement affects Champagne’s taste profile.
Paillard has published disgorgement information since 1985, while Bollinger launched its ‘recently disgorged’ (RD) label as long ago as 1961.
‘We decided to inform the press that [one of] the first to do it was Bruno Paillard,’ Alice Paillard, company export manager, told decanter.com. ‘It’s about giving back credit to people who have done for that years.’
Her father, Bruno Paillard, who is also CEO of major Champagne producer Lanson-BCC, said he was glad more houses had ‘at last recognised the importance of this information for connoisseurs’.
LVMH-owned Krug had been sceptical about the practice in the past, but recently changed its mind.
‘We felt there was a demand for more knowledge of the complex creation and ageing process behind Krug Grande Cuvée,’ a Krug spokesperson told decanter.com.
Research conducted by Paillard shows that Champagne goes through ‘five or six different ages’ following disgorgement.
It begins with a fruit-dominated phase, before moving to flowery notes, then spices and then toasted aromas, before progressing to candied fruit and, finally, roasted notes. It can take five years for the first spiced notes to appear, the research said.
Written by Chris Mercer