From their vintage labels to their retro winemaking practices, brothers Jean-François and Arnaud Paillard-Chauvet create champagnes in the old-school, classic style that true connoisseurs love. Recently, Arnaud's son Jacques Paillard-Chauvet has begun taking the reins of the estate, returning home from another life in banking in Paris. Jacques has set out with an aim to preserve the estate, continue the great family tradition, yet also ensure that these incredible wines are not lost to history.
For the Chauvet, harmony in champagne is not just important, it is elemental. As such, they are regional champions of the art of blending Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and they take an unabashedly classical approach in the vineyards and in the cellars. Farming their family’s 10 hectares sustainably in five of the Montagne de Reims’s 17 grand crus—Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay and Bisseuil— one feels a complex synergy to the final wines where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Long fermentations and extended élevages on the lees help develop complexity and fine aromatics, while also radically reducing the need for sulfur and eschewing the need for malolactic fermentations. In the end, their harmony in both their partnership and practice yields elegant, earthy and aromatic champagnes with a fine, satiny mousse that dances across the palate. That they are also capable of long cellar aging is a fitting legacy for a family who has endured since 1848, and whose family home in Tours-sur-Marne features an immaculately preserved salon, dating to the early 1900's.