Power, beauty and delight

This Champagne Bouzy Grand Cru Les Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016 by Pierre Paillard was a gift from our truly lovely friend Charles Mutter. Terribly kind of him as Team Elitistreview find this to be a particularly concupiscentious Champagne. Charles, thank you for pleasuring us immensely.

Let us break down the appallingly unfriendly name of this wine. Les Mottelettes is a lieu-dit, or named vineyard site, within the commune of the the Grand Cru rated village of Bouzy – great name for a wine producing village, eh?

Bouzy is a village on the Montagne de Reims, an area known principally for growing Pinot Noir. Now this may cause questions in your mind. This wine is a Blanc de Blancs, a Champagne made only from Chardonnay. What is a solely Chardonnay wine doing being grown in a Pinot Noir area?

Villages in Champagne are normally rated (as Grand Cru, Premier Cru and the rest) for only a single varietal, Bouzy is rated as a Grand Cru village for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pierre Paillard make this pure Chardonnay wine from Mottelettes, the lieu-dit they have that is planted with just Chardonnay. Easy!

(For completeness I will add Pierre Paillard also make a pure Pinot Noir (a Blanc de Noirs) wine from a different lieu-dit (I review the 2012 here) and two more normal Pinot/Chardonnay blends from different vineyards in Bouzy. One of these blends, Le Grande Recolte, from one particular vintage, 2006 – not even an especially good vintage, has been the single greatest Champagne I have ever drunk.)

So this wine is a Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims, an area more usually associated with Pinot Noir (even though Bouzy is a Grand Cru for both varietals). Does the Pinot-fealty have any effect on the character of this Champagne Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs? You bet it does!


Les Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016, Pierre PaillardChampagne Bouzy Grand Cru Les Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016, Pierre Paillard

This has a nose of incredible depth and intensity – a profound Champagne if ever there was one. This depth is not quite based on fruit, more on the character of the Cru and Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims in general.

There are flashes of lemon fruit and some hints of raspberries and redcurrants too, but it is the deep, rich nuttiness of Reims-ish Chardonnay that has stupefying depth.

The nuttiness is not like a Cote de Beaune Chardonnay, but more akin to Nahe Riesling, hazelnut skin, maybe even hazelnut shell with a touch of almond/almond skin. Nowhere else makes Chardonnay with this character and it is incredibly alluring.

Earthy power is also here. It is very clean and polished, but speaks of this wine coming from a superior parcel of land.

This Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016 is dizzyingly complex on the nose, really slick and stylish and deeply attractive. I have not had a Champagne so arresting and inviting in an age. So I will accept its invitation and have a taste.

Wow, the palate is as bracing and beautiful as dayspring on a cloudless, frosty morning. It is ferociously dry and the acidity burns with faculence. Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016 is precise, direct and linear on the first taste.

As you taste the Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016 with more than a little mouthful, you feel beglammered with the intricacies of the earthy power, the glisks of lemon and Bramley apple fruit that shimmer on your palate, the incredible density that is entangled with the focussed purity.

The dry freshness of the palate make it very sapid, whilst the complex structure makes it highly engaging. Its deep flavours bloviate with an abundance of detail and in superbly compelling style. Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs 2016 is a loquacious lovely of a wine, telling you more and more about the incredible entity that it is with every swirl around your mouth.

Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs’ mousse is deliciously fine, it is infused with scrumptious toasty/autolytic flavours and the finish just goes on and on in a kaleidoscope of sophisticated flavours. Wow.

Charles purchased this for Team Elitistreview on a trip to Champagne, and we are extremely grateful he did as it is a favourite Champagne that is almost impossible to get in the UK. Pierre Paillard is a very small grower.

It was a particular joy when the Wine Society had the 2012s of both Mottelettes Blanc de Blancs and Paillard’s Blanc de Noirs at discounted prices as most of the members did not realise what refulgent Champagnes these were (both now ready to drink if you have been aging some). If they ever get them in stock again, and please do (if any member of the buying team is reading this love letter), my debit card number will make the Wine Soc’s computer system smoke, such will be my enthusiasm to own more.

Stunning Champagne, someone please sell it in the UK!


Happy New Year to all our readers!