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.
Reserve Brut Champagne NV 375 + 750ml
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.
Grand Rose Brut Champagne NV 375 + 750ml
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.
Grand Millesime Brut Champagne 2008 750 + 1500ml
90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay produced only in the very best years from vines averaging 35 years age. Aged 8 years on less 8gms dosage. 2008 is certainly regarded as one of the greatest vintages for Champagne in the last 2 decades yielding releases of perfect fine balance and sufficient acid structure to see the best, like this, capable of ageing very well whilst having a seemingly effortless balance making for great enjoyment even at this early stage. Dont delay to grab some of this.
Grand Millesime Brut Champagne 2007 750 + 1500ml
90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay produced only in the very best years from vines averaging 35 years age. Aged 8 years on less 8gms dosage.
’The 2007 Brut Millésime Grand Cru is super-expressive and a real pleasure to taste today. Readers who enjoy Champagnes with a bit of flavor development will find much to admire in the 2007. Baked apple, chamomile, hazelnut, pastry and vanillin notes run through the 2007. Ample, creamy and inviting, with soft contours, the 2007 hits all the right notes. Drink it over the next handful of years. Disgorged: October 2016. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.’ 92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, December 2017
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 and bottled with 7 gms dosage.
’A yeasty and largely mature nose speaks of baked apple, pear and soft lemon rind nuances. There is excellent richness but also lovely vibrancy to the full-bodied flavors that possess first-rate complexity on the sappy finish. Many 2005s can be rich to the point of heaviness but here the firm yet relatively fine mousse provides good punch and overall, this is a first-rate effort that for my taste has arrived at the front edge of its peak drinkability. 93/now+’ Burghound, #69 2018
’I am pleasantly surprised by Bara's 2005 Brut Spécial Club Grand Cru given the variability of the year. Fresh, nuanced and lithe, the 2005 is in a perfect spot to deliver maximum pleasure now and over the next handful of years. Orchard fruit, mint and lifted floral notes are finely knit into the wine's mid-weight frame. I would prefer to drink the 2005 over the next few years, while the flavors remain bright. Disgorged: May 2016. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.’ 90 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, December 2017
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. This comes from one of their oldest vineyards around 55 years old which is located mid-slope giving perfect roundness and balance. Aged for 10 years on lees (disgorged 09/16) and finished with a Brut dosage of 7g/l. 2005 was a warm ripe year giving generosity and volume and ageing for 10 years on lees has kept the freshness of lees contact making for a very complete and richly styled champagne.
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. ’The 2005 Brut Grand Cru Annonciade is a very pretty wine in this challenging vintage. Orange zest, spice and dried flowers add shades of nuance to the Pinot fruit. Although a bit slender for a pure Pinot Champagne, the 2005 has terrific freshness, plenty of drive and none of the awkward notes that penalize so many 2005s. I wouldn't push my luck on aging. Even so, this is an impressive and hugely delicious Champagne from Paul Bara. The Annonciade was fermented and aged in barrel. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.’ 93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, November 2018
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. A stunning new addition to the Bara range. 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. Just 1500 bottles produced of this first vintage which was disgorged in November 2015. This is simply one of the most complex and perfectly integrated Champagnes that we have ever tasted. This superb quality stands alone. Stunning.
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 un-oaked 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.