Champagne Paul Bara Champagne, France.
‘Paul Bara is a living legend in Champagne. Many major champagne houses have approached Bara to try and buy the 30 exceptional locations he controls in the village. Only the first pressing is used, the wines are aged for at least 4 years in the cold cellar, and the yield is maintained at the lowest possible level. Bara’s wines have a very elegant fruitiness, which is unique in Bouzy. …his champagne is world class.’
Richard Juhlin, 4000 Champagnes.
Located in Bouzy just to the east of Epernay in the Marne Valley, Champagne Paul Bara uses only their own estate grown fruit from 100% Grand cru rated vineyards to craft it’s small range of champagnes.
Their superbly sited vineyard sites have over the years been sought after by many of the top Champagne houses, and while many other producers have been busily expanding, Paul Bara have remained producing the highest quality possible from these same 11 hectares for seven generations. Now managed by Chantal Bara, the beliefs and methods remain true to previous generations, producing very low yields of the best possible grapes from these superb vineyard sites. The great art in the champagnes of Paul Bara remains the same as it always has, it is the stunning purity and depth of 100% Grand cru Bouzy fruit maintained with finesse and balance that is achieved by using such a high percentage of Pinot Noir in the blend.
Whilst the region of Burgundy has enjoyed a huge revival of its fortunes in the past 3 decades as a result of the surge in quality coming from the small growers who are now estate bottling, Champagne is also now seeing a similar surge of interest in small high quality grower champagnes. In Burgundy the best sites for each variety are well researched and have proven their capacity to produce wines of a certain quality level for centuries. Similarly in the Champagne region, the best sites of land are rated and the prices of grapes that can be achieved from those sites will depend on the rating of each site. Bouzy is one of the few villages rated 100% Grand cru and these champagnes come from those superbly sited vineyards.
The non vintage cuvee (which includes about 20% of Chardonnay grapes from Bouzy) is also distinguished by its finesse and delicacy whilst retaining a remarkable smoothness and it is well recognised as being of a quality level that surpasses that of the Grande Marque producers of Champagne without the same lofty prices.
Coming from an area that is well recognised for the very high quality of its Pinot Noir one would expect that the Rose champagne would perform quite strongly asindeed it does. This champagne has the addition of 12% of Bouzy red wine to add to its fresh vibrant rose colour and to give an extra dimension of fine fresh red fruits to the delicate perfume. Dosage for all cuvees here is in the range of 7-8 g/l.
‘… marvellous, precise, impeccably well presented Champagnes that are at the top of the qualitative pyramid.’
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.
Bouzy Grand Cru Reserve Brut Champagne NV
80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. The current disgorgement (2017) is based on the 2010 vintage (50%) with 50% vin de reserve and a Brut dosage of 8g/l.
‘The Paul Bara Brut non-vintage is a terrific bottle of bubbly, with excellent complexity on both the nose and palate and a very elegant and refined mouth feel. On the palate the wine is fullish, crisp and focused, with excellent mid-palate depth, very refined mousse, bright acids and really outstanding length and grip on the complex finish. The Paul Bara is all refined elegance and great intensity of flavor. A truly superb bottle of Brut NV. 2010-2025+.’ 92 points, John Gilman, View From The Cellar, August 2010.
Bouzy Grand Cru Grand Rose Brut Champagne NV
Same base wines as above with the addition of 12% Bouzy rouge and a Brut dosage of 8g/l.
‘A multi vintage blend of 18% Chardonnay, 70% Pinot Noir and 12% Bouzy rouge. The latter is the still red wine of the village Bouzy (famous for its Pinot Noir) and from which this wine takes its colour. Salmon pink appearance, so appealing to the eye. With lacy aromas of blood orange, with a touch of orange zest and red currants, the palate is bursting with small red berry fruits, the red currants again, both combining with rose hip notes throughout a medium length finish. Pair this with gravalax (sugar-cured salmon) on arrival and continue on with salmon fillet main if you like.’ Frank Wilden, Business Insider Australia, February 2018.
‘Paul Bara’s Grand Rosé is a beautifully made bottle that really shows the high caliber pinot noir that hails from the village of Bouzy. The wine is fairly dark for a Rosé, with a lovely deep salmon color, and offers up a simply stunning bouquet of blood orange, cherries, sourdough bread, complex minerality, gentle smoky notes and a nice touch of citrus peel in the upper register. Stylistically, this is very similar to Dom Perignon Rosé. Simply a great bottle.‘ 94 points, John Gilman, View From The Cellar, August 2010.
Bouzy Grand Cru Grand Millesime Brut Champagne 2007 – 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay produced only in the very best years from vines averaging 35 years age. Very limited production.
Special Club 2005
Produced according the strict control and charter of the Club Tresors de Champagne, this wonderfully complex champagne is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and is aged on lees for 9 years. Whilst drinking very well already this has the potential to age superbly in a appropriate cellar.
Special Club Rose 2012
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, with the addition of 5% Bouzy rouge. Aged on lees for 4 years and finished with a dosage of 5g/l. Shows fabulous perfume and complexity with the finesse and structure of the outstanding 2012 vintage. A stunning rose that showcases the depth of Bouzy Grand cru.
Comtesse Marie de France Grand Cru Brut Champagne 2005
100% Pinot Noir produced only in the very best years for Pinot Noir with a total production about 500 dozen bottles. 10 years on lees (disgorged 09/16) and finished with a Brut dosage of 8g/l.
100% Pinot Noir. The Annonciade bottling pays hommage to an ancestor of the Bara family. In 1833, Annonciade, daughter of a winemaker from Bouzy, married Auguste François Bara, a young cooper from a neighbouring village. Aged for 6 months in barrel and then 10 years on lees with dosage of 6g/l.
Bouzy rouge 2008
100% Pinot Noir still red wine made only in the best vintages. Paul Bara is the man who wrote the book on Bouzy. The reference wine for Bouzy rouge.
‘A limpid red, a côtes-de-nuits nose, very elegant, a real bouquet of red fruits and smouldering vine prunings. The mouth of this pinot noir is silky, balanced, taut. A fine age-worthy example of unoaked coteaux champenois from 50 year-old, south-facing vines.’ 18/20 points (top-scoring Bouzy rouge), Jean-Charles Chapuzet, Terre de Vins, May/June 2017.