Bouzy, Champagne, France
New! Edmond Barnaut was one of the first pioneers in Champagne to create his own brand outside of the controlling centers-of-power of Epernay and Reims. In 1874 he set up shop in Bouzy, where he owned vines and where he married Appoline Godmé- Barancourt, heir to additional vineyards in the village. Cellars were dug as deep as 15 meters underground, and the first cuvee, made of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, was launched. That wine is still made today under the Grande Réserve label, with its reserve wine coming from a perpetual cuvée begun by Edmond himself and maintained through five generations of Barnaut descendants.
Philippe Secondé took over in 1985 and soon made a name for himself with his vinous Blanc de Noirs and his strikingly flavorful rosé. He increased the domain's vineyards, modernized its cellar, expanded production, and moved its viticulture footing to lutte raisonnée - plowing between rows, using only organic composts, and minimizing fungicide applications. Today Champagne Barnaut farms 11.27 hectares (28 acres) divided among 32 parcels in the grand cru vineyards of Bouzy, Ambonnay and Louvois.
The latter two communes are adjacent to Bouzy, and Barnaut’s holdings in them represent 5% of the domain’s grand cru totals. In addition, the domain farms 4.6 hectares (11 acres) in the Marne Valley and sells those grapes to the cooperative that makes the Nicolas Feuillatte brand, while saving some Chardonnay to make a Blanc de Blancs.
Pinot Noir makes up a solid 80% of Barnaut’s production, with Chardonnay making up the rest. All fruit is selected on a sorting table. All the cuvées of wine undergo malolactic fermentation in stainless steel, and fifty percent of each year’s crop is saved as reserve wine.
Barnaut Champagne Grande Reserve Brut NV
This is the original cuvée, and its reserve wine come from the perpetual cuvée first began by Edmond Barnaut in 1874 that has been drawn from and replenished every year since. As with all of his wines, Philippe looks to avoid heaviness while harnessing the inherent density and depth of fruit that Bouzy offers. The Grande Réserve represents 65% of the annual production. Dosage averages 6 g/l with a yearly production of 5,000 cases.
Barnaut Champagne Blanc de Noirs Brut Quintessence de Pinot Noir NV
Philippe first made this wine in 1995 and quickly gained a reputation for burnishing the finesse in what is, given the grape and the terroir, an innately large-scale wine. His rendition stands in contrast to the single vineyard Blanc de Noirs made by his friend Francis Egly of Egly-Ouriet in Ambonnay, a contemporary who is also well known for this class of wine but whose style emphasizes the power and weight of the area's Pinot Noir. The dosage averages 6 g/l with a yearly production of 1,650 cases.