Bruno Paillard: N.P.U. 2002

Made of 50% Chardonnay (Le Mesnil sur Oger, Chouilly, Oger and Chouilly) and 50% Pinot Noir (Verzenay, Mailly and Bouzy). Vinified in used oak barrels. Dosage of 3 grams. Disgorged september 2014. Lovely luminous yellow golden color with very fine streams of small bubbles and nice tears on the glass. The aroma is tremendously complex starting with with fresh tones of white currants, white cherry, carob powder, prunes, dried apricot, a hint of musk, earthiness, verbena, fennel, black tea, bergamot, rosehip, warm tones of allspice and myrrh. After swirling the glass it showed salted butter (incredible, like fresh beurre Bordier), cinnamon and more expressive Pinot Noir notes with bramble berry and cassis all together with bees wax giving the aroma a delicate and noble patina. A long time in the glass gave lovely cigar box and cheese crackers. This wine is dynamic, rich but still very focussed and frivolous but not naïve at all. On the palate you get yuzu, fabulous orange oil, kumquat, Reine Claude greengage plum, the tea from the nose, young fig, cold butter and Meursault-like toffee and mushroom on the mid-palate. It finishes very long and is also refreshing with sea buckthorn, candied and salted lemon, again yuzu, dried berries, mild toast, a hint of tobacco and a stunning minerality. I must confess that I was a bit dissapointed when I tasted the 2003 (rated 86 points) – which goes for many champagnes from that vintage – but this 2002 is an absolute masterpiece! The name Nec Plus Ultra does evoke vanity and a bit arrogance, yes, but this NPU really lives up to its name. This champagne is still very young but the potential is just enormous. Buy this in Magnum and wait 2 decades to open it, I ensure you that it will be heavenly.

Rating: 94/100
Potential: 97+/100