Seckford has just shipped its latest parcel of Champagne Paul Bara ~ these are 100% Grand Cru Champagnes from the family-owned vineyards, which Andrew Jefford (The New France) says are the "essential references for anyone who wants to enjoy and understand the ripe, dry richness of Bouzy". The house is now in the hands of Paul's daughter Chantale.
"Paul Bara’s champagnes are classic examples of Bouzy, with a full body and an ample, fruity ripeness thanks to pinot noir grown on the village’s warm, south-facing slopes. At the same time they demonstrate an unusual refinement and finesse - they tend to feel velvety in their depth of fruit and seamless in their integration of components from beginning to end" Peter Liem ~ champagneguide.net
The vintage champagnes are always aged for a minimum of five to six years, and the classic champagnes for two to three years. The bottles are stored in the cool & dark of the hundred-year-old cellars dug out of the chalk thirty-six feet underground.
Spécial Club is a unique champagne that is only made in exceptional years. The champagne is brought before an expert tasting panel, composed of oenologists and growers, on two occasions. The first of these tasting tests is to approve the still base wine (vin clair) and the second to approve the champagne for the 'Spécial Club' label. For many Bara fans this is their favourite champagne of the House, due to this one having the most chardonnay in the blend (30%). It is richly aromatic and absolutely gorgeous. This is a must buy for any champagne-lover!
However, if pinot noir is your choice, then the Comtesse Marie de France is for you. As the family says "This is a rich, full and generous wine, which will be perfect for a meal served exclusively with champagne." Named for the daughter of Éléonore d’Aquitaine, it was initially created in the 1960s as a special cuvée for the restaurant Chez Denis in Paris. Made in very small quantities, each bottle is individually numbered.
Antonio Galloni (vinous.com) says "In 2008, the Comtesse exudes balance and a level of pedigree that makes it absolutely irresistible. It is one of the most elegant Champagnes I have ever tasted here."
Comtesse Marie de France 2008
£350 per 6ib (£441 incl VAT *)
25 cases (6x75cl) - new vintage
100% PN. Bara's 2008 Brut Millesime Comtesse Marie de France offers a striking interplay of rich Pinot fruit with the natural tension of the year. Bright floral and mineral accents drive the 2008 as it gradually opens with a bit of air. In 2008, the Comtesse exudes balance and a level of pedigree that makes it absolutely irresistible. It is one of the most elegant Champagnes I have ever tasted here.
95pts Antonio Galloni - drink to 2030
Special Club 2012
£285 per 6ib (£363 incl VAT *)
15 cases (6x75cl) - new stock
170%PN & 30%CH. The 2012 Spécial Club is a stellar wine, just as it was last year. White orchard fruit, Mirabelle plum and spice accents are immediately alluring. Rich and beautifully layered, the Special Club possesses notable expansiveness. Lemon confit, marzipan and dried flowers develop later, filling out the wine's frame with notable layers of complexity. The deep, vinous style is immensely appealing, to say the least.
94pts Antonio Galloni - drink to 2028
Grand Millesime 2014
£165 per 6ib (£219 incl VAT *)
9 cases (6x75cl) - new vintage
90%PN & 10%CH. Candied apricot, dried flowers, chamomile and spice give the 2014 Brut Grand Millésime a real sense of exoticism that is impossible to miss. Ample and creamy, the 2014 possesses terrific resonance and plenty of depth, all in a style that can be enjoyed with minimal, if any, cellaring.
92pts Antonio Galloni - drink to 2032
Extra Brut NV
£159 per 6ib (£212 incl VAT *)
8 cases (6x75cl) - new stock
80%PN & 20%CH. Chantale's note: Bright pale-yellow colour with very fine bubbles. Apricot, quince compote, warm apple, bergamot, vine peach. Almonds, lemon, fresh pear, pineapple, plums, raspberry, blackberry. Fresh attack, creamy and lively effervescence. Fruity feel, and crispy, citrus notes. Chalky minerality and salinity. A long, generous and well-balanced finish.
Drink to 2026
Brut Reserve NV
£135 per 6ib(£183 incl VAT *)
40 cases (6x75cl) - new stock
80%PN & 20%CH. The NV Brut Réserve is a gorgeous wine for readers who want to explore the Bara Champagnes. Warm toasty notes enhance the natural radiance of Bouzy Pinot in a richly textured, vinous Champagne that is drinking beautifully today. Hints of dried pear, spice and dried flowers are laced into the silky finish.
89pts Antonio Galloni - drink to 2026