Variety: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Country, Region: France, Champagne
The Annonciade bottling pays homage to an ancestor of the Bara family. In 1833, Annonciade, the daughter of a winemaker from Bouzy, married Auguste François Bara, a young cooper from a neighbouring village. Paul Bara Annonciade is aged for 6 months in barrel and then 10 years on lees in bottle. the 2005 vintage was disgorged in November 2016, and given an Extra Brut dosage of 5g/l. A stunning Champagne of great power and complexity.
‘Fully fermented in oak barrels, Bara’s new cuvée is a salute to cooper Auguste Francois Bara [and his wife, Annonciade], the family’s first ancestor in Bouzy. The inaugural 2004 release was 100% pinot noir, and the powerful 2005 season has been astutely tempered with a dose of chardonnay [30%]. Ricocheting with grand intensity and complexity, the booming black plum, black cherry, fig and grilled pineapple of Bouzy pinot noir rise to meet the coffee bean and dark chocolate of oak fermentation, brought together by the brioche and ginger nut biscuit complexity of long age. It’s spicy and full-bodied, with length and breadth on another plane, yet it holds its poise in spite of such proportions thanks to the blessing of well-balanced malic acidity and all-pervading, fine chalk minerality.’ 95 points, Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2020-2021.
’The 2005 Brut Cuvée Annonciade is another gorgeous wine in this range from Bara. For the Annonciade, the estate takes a selection of their best fruit and vinifies it in oak. Warm, toasty notes from the wood complement the natural richness of the Pinot fruit. But more than that, I am impressed with the wine's freshness and impeccable balance, something that is so hard to find in 2005. Red plum, spice, dried flowers and baked apple tart scents leave the final impressions. The 2005 is fabulous, especially within the context of the year. Drink 2020-2030.’ 93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, November 2020.
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.