2016 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
It is easy sometimes to forget that before the champagnes and their ‘sparkles’, the Champagne region first produced still wines until the XVII century… what better way than a tasting around the Bouzy Rouge to help us to remember this part of the story of champagnes and Champagne. This is exactly what the Académie du vin de Bouzy offered us by organizing this year once again a Bouzy Rouge and Rosé champagnes tasting for professionals during the week of the Printemps des champagnes. A nice interlude during this ‘sparkle week’ where the visitors got the opportunity to discover and rediscover high-quality Coteaux Champenois and some rosé champagnes from the area of Bouzy.
Bouzy Rouge perpetuation by the Académie du Vin de Bouzy
Served during coronations of the kings of France in Rheims, part of the French wine heritage, mentioned by eminent writers, historians and oenologists… Bouzy Rouge is a world-famous wine. It is in 1992 that 15 local winegrowers decided to create the Académie du Vin de Bouzy in order to perpetuate the tradition of this famous still wine from Champagne. An association that allows to keep maintaining and refining the quality but also to promote the Bouzy rouge while respecting the character of each terroir – their soil, the exposure, the quality of the grapes sublimated by the know-how of the winegrowers.
Always in search of refining the quality of their wines, the winegrowers of the academy are making researches on their terroir and their vineyard, listing the best terroirs for red wines, studying the influence of grapevine rootstocks on the character and maturity of the grapes, looking for the best young plant of Pinot Noir to make the Bouzy Rouge, trying and tasting micro-winemaking… Following the quality charter of the Académie du vin de Bouzy, the winegrowers observe a real technical reflection from the vines to the vinification. The association brings together 15 producers that have the passion of their work and who wish to exchange view, ideas around the Bouzy Rouge.
A tasting between history and modernity
Once again this year, the Académie offered the opportunity to discover and rediscover the famous Bouzy Rouge. A tasting for professionals only, in a place that have become inevitable in Reims : Le Clos – a baroque wine bar located in the Boulingrin area.
On the terrace of the bar, in the middle of umbrellas, fairy lights and vintage objects, professionals from around the world got the opportunity to taste some Coteaux Champenois and Rosé champagnes from Bouzy. A tasting with a little extra, as the Sacré Burger Foodtruck was present for the event to offer delicious burger, fries and bagels made from local and fresh products.
15 academicians for high-quality wines
After 3 days of champagne tasting and at the end of the 4th one, the professionals got an nice interlude with a tasting of the red wines from Bouzy. The winegrowers of the Académie introduced their production : wines with their own character, that are marked out by its delicacy and its bouquet ; a fine, light and fruity wine also called «Vin des Rois» – literally ‘Wine of Kings’.
Among the estates represented that day : Pierre Paillard, Gaston Collard, Delavenne Père et Fils, Maurice Vesselle, Paul Bara, Paul Clouet, Alfred Tritant, Barnaut, Baron Dauvergne, Benoit Lahaye, Brice, Camille Saves, George Remy, Herbert Beaufort and Jean Marie Bandock.
Lets zoom in on some of them, starting with Georges Remy who produces only red wines for now. The winegrower brought his Bouzy Rouge from 2012, 2013 and 2014 (still in barrel). His Pinot Noir wines are quite elegant and delicate with high acid, smoky profile and developing a fine structure.
Benoît Lahaye – his neighbor and president of the Academy for 5 years now – uses an organic method for refined Pinot Noirs. His rosé is greedy, well-balanced with blackcurrant aromas and a fresh finish. His Bouzy Rouge – made from Pinot Noir from vines planted in 1960 – is a soil-expressive, mineral and savory red wine.
From the estate Paul Clouet, Jean Emmanuel and Jean Etienne highlight and respect the quality of their Pinot Noirs terroir of Bouzy. Their rosé develops delicious and tender fruity notes and the Bouzy Rouge is expressive with voluptuous small red fruits jam notes.
Winegrower using organic and biodynamic method, Cyril, from Champagne Gaston Collard, creates impressive and elegant champagnes. He offered his highly individual 2012, 2013 and 2014 Bouzy Rouge – a 100% Pinot noirs from 60 years-old vines of his ‘Haie de la Lue’ plot – as well as fruity and delicate 2011 and 2012 rosé champagnes.
The house of Champagne Barnaut creates champagnes and wines for 5 generations now following one philosophy : to sublimate what nature offers. Philippe brought a refined, elegant but eccentric Bouzy Rouge expressing blackcurrant and raspberry notes; a red wine that is the perfect reflect of its terroir. As for the Rosé, the champagne is supple, long and powerful with fruity notes as well.
Finally, at Champagne Pierre Paillard, Benoit, Antoine and Quentin work together to create well-balanced and elegant cuvées. They offered their 2011 rosé champagne – harmonious and mineral with a long finish – as well as a 2012 Bouzy Rouge – delicate, lively and sweet.
Thanks to the Académie du Vin de Bouzy, the wine professional visitors exchanged around Coteaux Champenois from Bouzy and discovered the diversity of the terroir of Bouzy through its wines and its winegrowers.