Grower Champagne Club – June 2016

Paul Bara, Brut Rosé, Grand Cru $74
At our annual grower Champagne tasting back in December, 2011, this was the runaway hit of the day and the unanimous choice for the next Champagne club. But not long after that it dropped out of the market for several years, causing much disappointment. But it’s been in good supply for a while now and we thought it was time to treat you again to one of the most delicious Rosé Champagnes we’ve ever tasted. 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. In his book, The New France, Andrew Jefford calls Bara’s Champagnes, “essential references for anyone who wants to enjoy and understand the ripe, dry richness of Bouzy.” The estate is now run by Paul’s daughter, Chantale, who continues to keep the family tradition and the house style alive. Her 100% Grand Cru wines are all produced by hand, from fruit grown on vines averaging 35 years in age, planted in the deep, chalky clay and limestone soil that imparts intense fruit flavor and amazing minerality. She ages even her non-vintage wines a minimum of two years in their cellar, carved out of the chalk soil to a depth of over 30 feet. The Brut Rosé is 68% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay and 12% still red wine and is elegant and complex, with lovely flavors of brioche and stone fruit and a gorgeous mouth feel. Bruce Neyers, California winemaker who has worked with Bara’s importer, Kermit Lynch, for two decades, writes that “Bara epitomizes all that is wonderful about Old World, hand-crafted Champagne…There’s simply nothing to compare them to.”