Bara Bouzy Rouge: Benchmark, Pinot Noir Esoterica

Posted by CrushWine

Red, Still Wine... from Champagne?
2002 Paul Bara Bouzy Rouge
Pinot Noir with Shimmering Clarity,
Weightless Complexity... No Other Pricing in the Nation

This has to be the most spirited esoteric offering in some time...

Yes, it's still, red wine from Champagne from the reference-point producer for this little-known and underappreciated category. More than curiosity, this offers a glimpse at Pinot in a state of singular and utter purity.

If you're at all interested in experiencing Pinot Noir at its most nervy, ethereal, and resolutely mineral form, Bara's is certainly the one to try.

Simply put, Paul Bara rules the category of red Coteaux Champenois, his name looming large in experts' writings on this unique non-sparkler from Champagne. 

Today we offer Bara's 02 Bouzy Rouge at as low as $39.50 a bottle on the 3-pack. It's difficult to situate pricing on a wine like this - there's none available anywhere else in the country; it might just be best to say that last year we sold the 2000 vintage at $55.

Making Coteaux Champenois rouge is a labor of love. This is Pinot Noir grown in the cool climate of Champagne - one of the northernmost limits of where most grapes can properly ripen. Here, Pinot (especially in non-sparkling form) requires the best southern- and southeastern-facing slopes and often the domaine's oldest, lowest yielding vines in order to achieve ripeness.

In these extremes, Pinot Noir can be exhilarating, utterly pure and clear and vibrant, shocked with pristine minerals.

If you like wines from Jura, Beaujolais, Val d'Aosta and mountain Nebbiolo or if Riesling and Chambolle compete for space in your cellar, then Bara's Bouzy rouge is worth a look.

Comparisons aside, though, Bara's wines stand alone by delivering superb concentration and complexity while simultaneously maintaining a sense of poise and almost ethereal lift. The signature here is one of cherry and crushed berry fruit backed by a fragrant wild strawberry perfume, exotic spices, and an emphatic chalk-infused minerality.

All of Bara's vineyards are in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy - top-notch sites famous for producing Pinots (especially still ones) with a dark-fruited, earthy opulence - though that's relative in these northern precincts. Bara's well-situated slopes (they deem only three of their 11 hectares suitable for producing Bouzy rouge) allow grapes to ripen amply, receiving a double dose of sun as it shines down and is reflected back by pure belemnite chalk soils, which also lend a distinct mineral element to the wine.

The result is an intriguing combination of flavor intensity and nimble, searching elegance. It's almost impossible to imagine this wine coming from anywhere else in the world.

2002 in Champagne is poised to go into the history books as one of the top vintages of recent years, and the high level of ripeness makes it a perfect vintage for Coteaux Champenois. Peter Liem nails it: "There is certainly a sense of richness and depth in the 2002s... Yet rather than emphasizing their ripeness, the 2002s consistently demonstrate a feeling of clarity, finesse and poise."

It's also worth noting that 02 is the current release. Eight years aging in the cellars is practically unheard of in these parts, yet Bara crafts their Bouzy in a decidedly ageworthy fashion, and at eight years old, this still holds much in reserve. A bottle of 2000 drunk last winter showed plenty of youthful vigor; given the great 02 vintage, this one should be fascinating to track for the next 3-5 years - at least.

As noted earlier, Bara's Bouzy rouge has been very hard to find in quantity (in the past we've gotten a case or less). We were very excited to find this parcel and are thrilled to be able to do an email offer on this unique Pinot Noir.

To place your order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2002 Paul Bara Bouzy Rouge

Special Email Bottle Price: $42.33
No compare-at pricing available

Special Email 3-Pack Price: $118.50 ($39.50) 

Wine arrives Fall 2010
NET | No further discount