Just in time for #NationalRoseDay this Friday, June 11th, here’s a #BubbleistaWineReview for @champagne_paul_bara “Grand Rosé!”
Allow me to just cut right to the chase though, y’all: without question, Paul Bara makes some of the most exquisitely spectacular, beautiful, bold, full, nuanced, finessed wines in the Champagne region.
Let’s get into it, bubbly lovers!
HISTORY: The Baras have been established in the region since 1833–however they’ve gone from originally selling grapes to large Négociant-Manipulant houses, to a Coopérative de manipulation (a wine co-op that markets Champagne made from members’ grapes), to a full-fledged Récoltant manipulant when Paul, an innovator and lover of wine, culture, and people, decided to create the estate’s own grower champagne in the 1950’s after World War II.
Paul’s bold and adventurous spirit, dedicated love for the terroir of Bouzy, and his reputation for being both a specialist AND a passionate innovator continues with the 6th generation as his daughter Chantale Bara, who has served as both winemaker and estate manager, instituted a renovation of the winery “to enhance its wine making capacity and precision.” A second daughter, Evelyne Dauvergne, is now in charge of vineyard management.
BACKGROUND: Situated in the dub-region Montagne de Reims, in the village of Bouzy, the estate employs hand production techniques, stainless steel vat fermentation, and impedes malolactic fermentation.
Paul Bara’s vineyards have Pinot Noir grapes planted on south-facing slopes which means they will be riper and express fruitier notes because they get a different amount and intensity of sunlight than north-facing grown Pinot Noir.
FUN FACTS: If you’re still wondering how special champagne from Paul Bara are, check this out:
1.) Paul Bara was the first house ever to create a Special Club Rosé in the history of the club.
2.) their “Grand Rosé” is made via both the saignee method (direct press with juice coming in contact with the skins) AND the addition of still “vin de reserve” wine.
3.) The champagne house was the 1st to export it champagnes to the United States in 1975
This Rosé is aged 4 years on the lees with a dosage of 7g/l.
Color: a pretty light coral-ish, salmon pink hue
Aroma: like that perfect moment when you open a carton of perfectly ripened fresh strawberries! Add to that notes of sweet citrus, pink florals (hibiscus perhaps?), baked pastry, and white pepper.
Flavor Profile: a red fruit party comprised of strawberries, raspberries, fresh cranberry, and sour red cherries + grapefruit zest. Layered complexity and depth continue to dance on your palate with some delicate gingery baking spices that pop up mid-palate. Fresh and popping acidity with a rich and creamy mousse that delivers a beautifully long, elegant finish. WOO!
PRICE POINT: $70-80 (and we’ll worth it!)
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED:
Here’s the moral of the champagne story:
- when you see “Bouzy” on the label of a champagne bottle you now know that the bottle is virtually guaranteed to contain beautifully aromatic, fruity Pinot Noir
- if you’re looking for a champagne sipping adventure, be sure to look for the “RM” on the label. Grower champagnes almost always deliver some fun experimentation!
And, in case you missed it on my Paul Bara Instagram post, here’s a fun, non-traditional “experiential tasting notes” thing I like to do called “If This Wine Was a Person” (#IfThisWineWasAPerson) a writing exercise I made where I describe what a wine is like based on a human persona–check it out!
#IfThisWineWasAPerson it would be @renerusso’s character “Katherine” from the movie “The Thomas Crown Affiar.” There’s a scene in the movie where she saunters uninvited into a formal “Black and White” attire gala, and completely steals the spotlight wearing a super slinky dress with a bright red silk wrap draped across her arms—clearly in intentional, rebellious opposition to the evening’s dress code.
Just like Katherine, Paul Bara champagne didn’t wait to be invited to the proverbial party—the house is more interested in creating space for themselves than it is fitting in with convention.
The results are Grand Cru champagnes that are fascinating, distinctive, sultry, precise, refined, and structured…just like that bold red wrap on Katherine’s arms.
Fun, right?! As long as you keep responding well to them, I’ll keep doing them, bubbly lovers! Get into this Paul Bara, y’all—you won’t regret it!