What We Say Brut Selection Premier Cru
Double Agent Alert
Our allocation of today’s selection is extremely limited and we are likely to sell out early (if you want some of this bubbly ACT NOW), but don’t despair, we’ve secured an allocation of another lovely bubbly as our Double Agent Selection for the day.
Top Secret Mother’s Day Special
In honor of all of our Mothers, The Wine Spies is offering this exceptional Champagne at an unbelievable price and are also offering free ground shipping on all orders of six or more. Just enter the promotion code FRENCHSPY at checkout.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
Subscribe to our Daily Dispatch (above) and you’ll always know what our Top Secret coupon code of the day is. Every day we issue a new members-only code that entitles you to have Ground Shipping included and, sometimes, an added discount!
Mission Codename: Celebrate Your Mother, …and so much more!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive and lovely Premier Cru Champagne for Mother’s Day
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Bauchet Pere et Fils
Wine Subject: NV Brut Selection Premier Cru
Winemaker: Roland Bauchet
Originally considered a fault for wine to have a secondary fermentation in the bottle, Champagne has become among the most sought after wines. While Dom Perignon is credited with inventing Champagne in 1690, evidence suggests that the legendary monk spent most of his time riding his wine of its evervescent qualities. Checking our history, the 1718 manuscript Memoire sure le Maniere de cultiver la Vigne et de Faire le Vin de Champagne, discusses the creation of this sparkling masterpiece at least six years before Dom Perignon arrived in the region.
Considered a specific wine with a designated AOC, Champagne is usually made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. Champagne is also different in that it is ‘Assembled’, or blended with as many as 50 or more base wines, hence many Champagnes are Non-Vintage. Champagne is also always categorized with an Eschelle des Crus which indicates the base price and quality of the grapes used. The highest eschelle is grand cru and represents only the top 1% of grapes. Premier Cru represents grapes in the 90-99% range. Anything less, us spies consider torture.
Today’s selection from Bauchet Pere et Fils is unique in that this house is one of the largest producers that uses fruit exclusively from their own vineyards for their Champagne.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale gold with slight straw yellow hues graced by bubbles of medium size that become smaller and finer as the initial effervescent burst settles leaving a medium fine delicate mouse that lingers until you take your first sip. The streams of bubbles lingers until you polish off glass after glass of this lovely Champagne
Smell – Bright but balanced aromas of citrus, melon and peaches with hints of creamy butter, honey and vanilla toasted nuts.
Feel – Perhaps this Champagne’s texture is what we loved best about this selection. Excellent effervescent fizz that was perfectly supported by a slightly more weighty viscosity and solid depth.
Taste – Slightly sweet with excellent bright fruit of sweet pineapple, tart grapefruit, melons that linger into dried fig and creamy vanilla.
Finish – Medium in length, extremely clean and smooth with lingering hints of fruit.
Conclusion – The Bauchet Pere et Fils Brut Selection Premier Cru is a lovely and perfectly balanced Champagne in aroma, texture, flavor and production (50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay). Bright and clean with a texture that makes this bubbly perfect for a lingering brunch or lunch. We paired this wine with a smoked salmon salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, a crab salad as well as a simple cheese-burger a la française, on a croissant with Dijon mustard.
This Mother’s Day we’re going to keep the mission report simple. Just remember that while we encourage the celebration of important days honoring our Mothers, Fathers, Lovers, etc, living life to its fullest requires that we celebrate even the smallest and perhaps most insignificant milestones or even just making it through a difficult day.
There is no better way to celebrate than to pop open a bottle of Champagne and raise a glass with loved ones and great friends.
A votre santé!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Bauchet Pere et Fils can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Bauchet Pere & Fils
About This Wine:
Made strictly in line with tradition and blended with equal proportions of black Pinot Noir and white Chardonnay grapes, this champagne combines the aromas and finesse of the very best cuvées (Brut or Demi-sec available in bottles, and Brut only in half-bottles and magnums.
About The Vineyards:
At the time of the 1999 harvest, our A.O.C. Champagne appellation vineyards covered 35 hectares, 12 of which lie within the Marne département at Grauves “Côte des Blancs” (where the Chardonnay grape truly flourishes) and Bisseuil “Montagne de Reims” (both of which have “Premier Cru” status) and 23 in the Aube département at Bragelone-Beauvoir, mostly in the vicinity of Les Riceys and Bligny.
This large area (by Champagne standards) makes us the leading “Producteur Récoltant Manipulant” (literally ‘Grower Producer Manipulator’) entity in the Champagne region.
In 1999, we harvested 435,000 kilos of grapes from these vineyards, representing the equivalent of 380,000 standard (75 cl) bottles. This area is due to increase to 37 hectares in the near future.
In the Bisseuil area, the vineyards of the Marne département are mostly planted with Chardonnay vines (white grape) and in part with Pinot Noir vines. In Grauves, we grow only Chardonnay grapes and, in the Aube, almost exclusively Pinot Noir.
The average age of the vines is 15 years, taking annual partial replacement into consideration.
About The Winery:
Félicien BAUCHET was born in 1902 to a modest farming family. He witnessed all the tragic events of the 20th century – the vine growers’ uprising in 1911 and the two World Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. A hands-on man of the land, he harvested his first champagne appellation grapes as early as 1920. Around 1946-47, he successfully harvested around 5,000 kilos of grapes from his hectare (2.4711 acres) of vines.
Between 1946 and 1950, through his own driving force and the help of his sons, the estate grew in size to 3 hectares of vines.In 1960, Félicien BAUCHET and his three sons – Raphaël, Gérard and Roland joined forces to create what is still the House’s production entity – the Société du Clos Babot. At the same time, they also acquired cellars and old premises in BISSEUIL, a small village 10 kilometres (a little over 6 miles) to the east of Epernay. When the company was created in 1960, the vineyard covered approximately 3 hectares 30 ares (1 are = 100m²).
Between 1960 and 1975, the BAUCHETs significantly increased their vineyard area by purchasing and planting vines on plots mostly in the vicinity of Bisseuil. By the time of the 1975 grape harvest, their vineyards covered approximately 18 hectares 80 ares.
The Bauchet family has always sought to encourage its champagnes to attain their fullest, purest expression. Vine growers at heart, they initially concentrated on developing their vineyards, but it wasn’t long before they were convinced of the need for their own pressing equipment and vat hall.In 1974 – 1975, following the petrol crisis of 1973, the economy in general, and that of the Champagne region in particular, suffered a period of serious decline.
From the time the company had been founded, the BAUCHET family had always sold their entire annual harvest to champagne négociants (dealers), either as still wines (vins clairs) or sur lattes (bottled but not yet disgorged, ready for dosage, labelling and sale).
They suddenly found themselves without a single buyer for their harvest in the Champagne region. The alternative was to launch into selling finished champagne.