After 1990, 1995 and 1996, the fine fizzing golden-yellow 1999 N.P.U. (Nec Plus Ultra; latin for ””There is nothing beyond””) is the fourth vintage of this prestige cuvee from Bruno Paillard. Sourced from the four grands crus of Mailly, Verzenay, Oger and Le Mesnil sur Oger, the musts were fermented and aged for 10 months in barriques before the finest 42 barrels were selected for this 50/50 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir cuvee. The Champagne was kept for more than 12 years on the lees before it was disgorged in January 2012 with a small dosage of 4 g/l and spent another year in the cellar before a total of 11508 bottles and 508 magnums was launched on the market. Number 2879 of the 1999 NPU offers a uniquely rich and aromatically very particular bouquet of ripe and dried fruit aromas, dried flowers, potted ginger, candied lemon and orange peel, mandarins, roasted sesame, walnuts, resin and ultra ripe pears (Williams) to name just a few of the steadily developing aromas. The really complex and multi-layered nose leads to a rich, intense, round, voluminous and elegant Champagne of great expression and persistency. Firmly structured and remarkably mineral in the long aftertaste, this is a big character, quite aristocratic but also sensual and harmonious. Unfortunately this modern ””classic”” is highly expensive but worth a dinner for two. The wine benefits a lot from a certain time in a big wine glass.
Close your eyes...The tasting of such a wine can be a truly great moment. The bottle should be slightlyrefreshed, at around 10°C, certainly not ice-chilled. The wine can be enjoyed on its own,or with food (excluding deserts).This N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1999 required more than 13 years of dedication to reach anoutstanding result: it deserves some time to open in the glass, and express its potential.First admire the beauty of its bright deep gold colour and tiny bubbles. Close your eyesand listen to its little music. Then smell its multiple and complex aromas which slowlyshow through. Only after this moment, taste a little drop and let time stand still…
Wine Maker Notes
Only in truly great vintages....First, an exceptional vintage is needed: after improving our ”savoir faire” during the80’s, the first ever N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra, a 1990 vintage, was released in 2002. Thencame N.P.U. 1995 and the iconic N.P.U. 1996… After these three tremendous althoughquite different vintages comes N.P.U. 1999, a wine with a seemingly more classicalprofile…In 1999, the summer drought stressed the vine strongly until several short but frequentrains arrived early September, which progressively brought the fruits to maturity. The1999 harvest offered perfectly healthy grapes, allying aromatic richness with a veryinteresting ageing potential.Exclusively ”Grands Crus” grapes...Out of the 320 villages in the Champagne Appellation, only 17 are rated ”Grands Crus”:grapes from 4 of these were selected to create N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1999: Bouzy,Verzenay, Oger, Le Mesnil sur Oger. Not just born in a great vintage, the grapes alsooriginate from the most noble crus.In small wooden barrels....As always at Maison Bruno Paillard, only the first pressing - the purest - was retained.But an essential characteristic of the N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra is that the first fermentationwas conducted in small wooden barriques where the wines spent their first 10 months.During this period each ”Cru” developed its own personality while acquiring theseslightly woody aromas which used to be found in yesterday’s wines. The followingsummer, in July 2000, we selected and blended the best 42 barriques (21 of chardonnay,21 of pinot noir) of which we obtained 11 508 bottles and 508 magnums, each of thembeing numbered.More than twelve years in the Cellar...The second fermentation followed almost immediately after bottling and a longmaturation started in our 10,5°C temperature controlled cellars. This bottle remainedageing this way more than 12 years, including a “convalescence” rest after itsdisgorgement – which date is indicated on its back label.As always at Bruno Paillard, the “dosage” is very low. For N.P.U. – Nec Plus Ultra it isreduced to a strict minimum, 4 g/L, hardly perceptible. The bottles are returned to thecellar for a year of “recovery rest” before their launch on the market.
(50% Pinot Noir 50% Chardonnay). Made only in exceptional vintages with only Grand Cru fruit from Bouzy, Oger, Le Mesnilsur- Oger, and Verzenay. The individual crus were fermented in small oak barrels and aged for ten months. The best 22 barriques (11 of Chardonnay, 11 of Pinot Noir) were blended and the bottles left to mature sur lie for 12 years. The wine was disgorged and received a minimal dosage of 4g/l, then aged for another year in the cellar.