June 2016 - Stephen Reinhardt - Bruno Paillard's citrus-colored 2008 Brut Assemblage Millésimé is a lean and lively, mineral palate-cleanser. It's a love-me-or-leave me cuvée comprised of 42% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir and 16% Pinot Meunier, selected from ten of the best terroirs the company is cultivating. During seven years in the winery, this intense and chalky, energetically fresh and silky textured Champagne has developed a gorgeous mix of white, red and yellow fruits that are quite prominent at the moment. There are lemon and grapefruit notes, as well as marzipan, floral and chalky mineral flavors. Disgorged in 2015 with five grams of dosage and equipped with a beautiful label from the Korean artist Bang Hai Ja, the 2008 is still a bit yeasty and reductive on the nose, and austerely dry on the palate. But it is still full of drive and energy. This is Champagne for wine freaks or thirsty throats. It will gain complexity over the next decade.