Grower Champagne Club – April 2014

Paul Bara, Brut Réserve, Grand Cru
You may recall this producer, who is responsible for one of the most popular Champagnes we’ve ever poured. Their Brut Grand Rosé was your choice at our annual Champagne tasting two years ago to feature in the club, and we’ve had requests for it ever since. But somehow, they dropped out of the local market and we’ve been unable to find it. So we were elated when one of our new reps casually mentioned recently that it was in his book and suggested it for the club, not knowing we’d been searching high and low for it for ages. As you may recall, Paul Bara’s small, 11-hectare estate was established in 1833 in the grand cru village of Bouzy, and they are considered one of the most renowned producers in the Montagne de Reims. The writer Andrew Jefford (The New France) calls Bara’s Champagnes “essential references for anyone who wants to enjoy and understand the ripe, dry richness of Bouzy.” Paul’s daughter Chantale now oversees the estate, and she has kept the family tradition and the house style alive and well. She produces their 100% grand cru Champagnes by hand, from fruit grown on their low-yielding vines averaging 35 years in age, planted in the deep, chalky clay and limestone soil that contributes to the intense fruit flavor and amazing minerality of her wines. Even her non-vintage wines are aged a minimum of two years in their impressive cellar, which is carved out of the chalk soil, to a depth of over 30 feet below ground! The Brut Réserve is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and has a simply gorgeous mouthfeel and elegant, complex flavors of white peaches, and delicate brioche; at once both delicate and powerful. At $81.50, it is at the high end of our range, but it is worth every penny. Welcome back Paul Bara!