Bouzy, Champagne, and a Pinot Noir to savour

Bouzy, Champagne, and a Pinot Noir to savour

My wife chose this wine. That is not a disclaimer, but rather it is worthy of taking note, because her palette is rather different to mine. She picks up notes that I don’t, and prefers silkier wines that pair with food because, surprise surprise, she’s a foodie. Tasting the wine was always going to be with a great meal, and it was!

‘Only produced in the best years.’ Not many wine or champagne houses can make such a claim for their wines. For many, producing wines year in, year out is the most economically viable way to make a profit, and that is perfectly understandable. Not everyone has an excess of fruit, or enough quality fruit to make more good wines. At a tasting of Paul Bara champagnes in March, I was very intrigued not only by the range of brut champagnes, but also by the tremendously high quality brut rosé. This region produces outstanding Pinot Noir, and while it is a joy to behold in a sparkling wine, it is rarely channeled into a table wine of such rarity and distinction. I took home a few bottles from this tasting, including the 2004 Paul Bara Bouzy Rouge (you can also read about my tasting note at the time, on this blog). The vines producing this wine have an average age of 30+ years, on clay over limestone, produced from vineyards totaling 11 hectares in the Coteaux Champenois.

I decided to revisit the wine (a demi of which I brought home) with a meal of Seared Tasmanian Wallaby, marinated in lemon myrtle and pepper, with Purple carrots in a honey glaze, and pumpkin purée. The difference the wine made with a food pairing was quite interesting.

By itself, the wine exhibited really smooth cherries, with some raspberry notes. The colour was a rather transparent red, like squeezed cherry juice, and very transparent on the rim. As it warmed, there were some slightly mushroomy-forest floor characters, which I didn’t pick up on my visit there. I still picked up the dry earth notes, as well as warm spice and some very, very subtle nutmeg and cinnamon notes. Tasting the wine confirms flavours on the nose, and adds a silky texture and earthy note that really gripped onto the wallaby texture. Because the meat was only slightly seared, the juiciness of the meat really made the wine all the more lush. Peering at the wine over again, the colour really was intriguing. A very pale red heart with a very translucent rim. The acidity on the taste was like a protective layer over the quality fruits. I won’t change my score for this wine, but I would say it made the meal all the better.

Good drinking to you!

Paul Bara Bouzy Rouge 2004
Coteaux Champenois
100% Pinot Noir
Closure: Cork
Score: 92/100

Drink now.


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I think I was captured by how essentially natural or organic the whole process of winemaking is. It's farming, it's viticulture, it's weather and soil, and many more things. It's the winemaker. But after all these things, after the cap is unscrewed or the cork popped, I (and you) get to enjoy it. Then we talk about it and learn some more. Which is, I guess, the reason why you're here! Here you'll find stories, links, wine education samples and wine reviews. I am entirely independent and my wine reviews and ratings are based on my own thoughts and opinions. I accept no endorsements for products or good reviews. Enjoy! I can be reached for comments, feedback and questions at Good drinking to you! David

On the Hill of Corton

On the Hill of Corton


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