Nec Plus Ultra
N.P.U. – « Nec Plus Ultra » was born from the idea to create the greatest possible Champagne wine, whatever the constraints. For this, decisions were made at the highest level for each stage of its development. From this crazy dream was created a champagne at the height of winemaking…
N.P.U. – The Ultimate.
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. Then came N.P.U. 1995 and the iconic N.P.U. 1996… After these three tremendous, although quite different vintages, comes N.P.U. 1999, a wine with a seemingly more classical profile… In 1999, the summer drought significantly stressed the vine until several short but frequent rains arrived early September, which progressively brought the fruits to maturity. The 1999 harvest offered perfectly healthy grapes, allying aromatic richness with a very interesting ageing potential.
Exclusively “Grands Crus” grapes…
Out of the 320 villages in the Champagne Appellation, only 17 are rated “Grands Crus”: grapes from four 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 also originate 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 fermentation was conducted in small wooden barriques where the wines spent their first 10 months. During this period each “Cru” developed its own personality while acquiring these slightly woody aromas which used to be found in yesterday’s wines. The following summer, 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 them being numbered.
More than twelve years in the Cellar…
The second fermentation followed almost immediately after bottling and a long maturation started in our 10,5°C temperature controlled cellars. These bottles remained ageing this for way more than 12 years, including a “convalescence” rest after its disgorgement – 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 is reduced to a strict minimum, 4 g/L, hardly perceptible. The bottles are returned to the cellar for a year of “recovery rest” before their launch on the market.
by Bruno Paillard
The tasting of such a wine can be a truly great moment. The bottle should be slightly refreshed, at around 10°C, certainly not ice–chilled. The wine can be enjoyed on its own, or with food (excluding desserts). This N.P.U – Nec Plus Ultra 1999 required more than 13 years of dedication to reach an outstanding 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 eyes and listen to its little music. Then smell its multiple and complex aromas which slowly show through. Only after this moment, taste a little drop and let time stand still…
“A superb champagne with strong character for connoisseurs.”
Guide Gault et Millau – 2015
Guide Gault et Millau 2015 : 18/20
Guide Bettane Desseauve 2016 : 18/20
FOOD & CHAMPAGNE PAIRINGS
N.P.U. – Nec Plus Ultra
• Fine green beans
• Black truffle
• Hazelnut oil
• Moden balsamic vinegar
• Foie gras
Gaston Boyer, father of Gérard Boyer (chef at Crayères in Reims for 20 years), invented this recipe at La Chaumière for one of its “foodie” guests who wanted a light dinner. He decided to test the chef making him add to the salad the sweetness he loved. For 35 years, this recipe was included on the menu at La Chaumière and Crayères (Reims restaurants).
This recipe is our interpretation of “Père Maurice” salad; different from that of the great father and son chefs, the Boyers.
1. Beans should be al dente , and very slightly warm when served (to allow the foie gras to release the flavours).
2. The foie gras is cut into cubes of about 1 square cm
3. The truffle must be cut, not grated, to slices of 2mm thickness.
4. The lobster is cold, with a meaty yet tender texture., and also cut up.
5. All the ingredients are mixed gently with a very light dressing of Reims Clovis vinegar and Modena balsamic vinegar. Of course, just a small amount. Season with salt and pepper.