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The Story

The Bruno Paillard N.P.U.- « Nec Plus Ultra » was born from the idea to create the greatest possible Champagne wine, whatever the constraints. To do this, the most extreme choices have been made at each step of the production of this outstanding Champagne wine.
This foolish dream gave birth to the N.P.U.-“Nec Plus Ultra”.

Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 50%  Pinot Noir

Classification: Grand Cru

Dosage: Extra Brut <6 g/L

Only in truly great vintages….
First, an exceptional vintage is needed: after improving our “savoir faire” during the 80’s, the first ever N.P.U – Nec Plus Ultra, a 1990 vintage, was released in 2002. Four follow, each of different temperaments: the generous 1995; the eccentric 1996; and the 1999, maybe the most classic, and 2003.



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Wine Information

First of all, there must be a great vintage. We patiently cultivated our craftsmanship until we developed it to perfection, while
waiting for an exceptional vintage. Finally 1990 arrived, outclassing even the previous 2 vintages of 1988 and 1989, which were themselves remarkable. 1990 has given the first N.P.U. Cuvée. We had to leave aside the years 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, before elaborating the second N.P.U. Cuvée; vintage 1995. The crop was showing perfect maturity and a very beautiful balance between power and length on the one hand, and freshness – promise of longevity – on the other. The grapes were therefore “well born”, but this was not sufficient.


Only “Grand Crus”:
Of the 321 villages in Champagne, only 17 are granted the “Grand Cru” appellation. The grapes selected for the N.P.U. come exclusively from only 5 of these: CRAMANT, CHOUILLY, MESNL SUR OGER, VERZENAY and BOUZY. Not only born under the good star of a great vintage, these grapes are also of the noblest origin.


First Pressing:
As always at Bruno PAILLARD, only the first pressing of the grapes – the purest – was retained.
Small oak barrels: But an essential difference with the N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra” Cuvée is that the wine fermented in small oak barrels, where it hen rested for a further 9 months. During that period, each cru asserted its complexity and gained those slightly oaky
aromas that used to be found in Champagne wines long ago.

50/50 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir: Only in July 1996, i.e. in the summer following the harvest, the “assemblage” of the 32 finally selected barrels took place, a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, and the wine was bottled.

At least 10 years “sur lattes”: The second fermentation occurred almost immediately, followed by a long ageing period in the shade of our cool cellars at a constantly maintained temperature of10,5°C. this numbered bottle remained here nearly 10 years until its “Disgorgement” of which the date appears on the back label.

Dosage reduced to the minimum: As always at Bruno PAILLARD, the “Dosage” is very low; For the N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra”
Cuvée it is even reduced to the strict minimum, hardly perceptible: 4g:litre. The bottles then return to the cellar for a further 18 months ageing before the launch on the market.

At least 10 years “sur lattes”: The second fermentation occurred almost immediately, followed by a long ageing period in the shade of our cool cellars at a constantly maintained temperature of10,5°C. this numbered bottle remained here nearly 10 years until its “Disgorgement” of which the date appears on the back label.
Dosage reduced to the minimum: As always at Bruno PAILLARD, the “Dosage” is very low; For the N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra” Cuvée it is even reduced to the strict minimum, hardly perceptible: 4g:litre. The bottles then return to the cellar for a further 18 months ageing before the launch on the market.


Tasting N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra” is a unique moment in itself – a pure emotion. Be present… take your time… and give the lead to your emotions… Then you will get lost in the intense gold of its velvet armour, in the whispering of its effervescence… Before you allow yourself to be bewitch by its aromas: You will start a long trip through flowers, fruits and spices with orange blossoms – crystallized orange peel, quince jelly, honey, ginger bread, brioche, liquorice…


Take your time; the wine has much to show, more than 12 years to tell while slowly opening in the glass. Wait for the end of the trip to give in to the temptation of the flavours… A full bodied and velvety texture… A pure harmony of fruits with hints of oak and toasted bread. Chestnuts, apricots, crystallize figs and caramel… surrounded with a beautiful freshness and minerality. The finish is very long and leaves you with a feeling of freshness and purity. You can open your eyes!

The tasting of such an outstanding wine is a great moment in itself. Ideally, it should be served at cellar temperature, possible chilled in an ice bucket half filled with cool water to which a few ice cubes were added. It should not be left in the refrigerator or chilled
solely on ice. It can be enjoyed on its own, as an aperitif, or accompany a whole meal, provided no spicy or sugar food is served. When arriving on the market, The N.P.U. – “Nec Plus Ultra” Cuvée 1995 will have required 12 years hard work to reach such a sublime result. To experience its richness, don’t sip it too quickly.

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Vintage 1995

A welcome relief after some difficult years in the region. Quantity-wise, it was the seventh high-cropping year in a row. But, in 1995, the quality also excelled, and particularly so for Chardonnay. There were significant frost damages during the spring and the warm but wet weather in the summer ignited mildew and rot problems. The vines cropped heavily and rigorous vineyard work and selection during harvest led to best results. Harvest commenced on September 18th and yielded grapes of a fine balance of sugar and acidity. The vintage has turned out to be much better than first expected and it has emerged from the shadow of the much-hyped 1996. This vintage is marked by elegance of its inviting fruitiness, beautiful balance and slow-building finesse. Its greatest examples include Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires, Dom Pérignon (whole range), Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger R.D, Krug Vintage and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note


Long and Flavorful






Perfectly balanced, Concentrated and Full

Written Notes

1995 NPU Open and intense nose with cloudberry, quince, very ripe golden apples, ginger, white truffle, hints of brioche. Like a mature white Hermitage or Batard-Montrachet. Great Nose. Big and full but fresh, ripe cloudberry, quince, golden apples, nougat and mineral. Nice balance in the bigger, fuller, concentrated style of Champagne but lacks a bit of palate grip and focus. Still long and delicious. 93p. Drink now-2020
  • 93p
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Reims, Champagne


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