£35.95, The Whisky Exchange; £38.99, Handford Wines; £44.99, Selfridges
The first week of October is National Champagne Week. I don’t know why – something to cheer us up as we view the prospect of months of cooler, darker days perhaps? Whatever the reason this is my contribution to the festivities/commiserations. It goes without saying that I’ve chosen it because it’s so good: fine bubbles, beautiful citrusy fruit opening out into richer brioche flavours, then a sustained, fresh finish. But I also like the fact that it’s from an independent family-owned Champagne house, founded and still run by Bruno Paillard, now with his daughter Alice alongside him. There are growers who make small quantities of their own Champagne with their own name on the label, but there isn’t another Champagne house named after the man who owns and runs it and blends the Champagne. Première Cuvée is the non-vintage, but I recommend the whole six-strong range. The Whisky Exchange has five of them.
Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Brut Champagne, France
£44.99, Selfridges; £38.99, Handford Wines; £35.95, The Whisky Exchange