Grower Champagne Club – January 2021

Paul Bara, Brut Rosé, Grand Cru, $78
This has remained one of the best Rosé Champagnes we’ve tasted since we began working with grower Champagne. It is made by Paul Bara, a small, 26-acre estate established in 1833 in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy. They are considered one of the most renowned producers in the Montagne de Reims. Andrew Jefford, author of The New France, writes that Bara’s Champagnes are “essential references for anyone who wants to enjoy and understand the ripe, dry richness of Bouzy.” The estate is now run by Paul’s eldest 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 tends to be about 70% Pinot Noir, 18% Chardonnay and 12% still red wine from Bouzy 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 says that “Bara epitomizes all that is wonderful about Old World, hand-crafted Champagne…There’s simply nothing to compare them to.”