Edmond Barnaut was one the first Grower Producers ever, setting up shop in Bouzy, Montagne de Reims, in1874, making him a pioneer. He owned vines and also married an heiress who had additional vines, increasing his holdings. The first wine made was the Grande Reserve, 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay, and is still made today. See my tasting note below. Philippe Secondé, a direct descendant of Edmond Barnaut, now runs Champagne Barnaut.
Since taking over in 1985, Philippe Secondé has modernized the cellar, increased the vineyards, and expanded production. He has led the way with lutte raisonnée, which is not quite organic, but minimizes the use of fungicides to only as little as necessary and only when necessary, using only organic compost, and other environmentally friendly practices.
They have 12.11 hectares of vines in Bouzy and 5.39 hectares in The Marne Valley which are 12% Chardonnay and 88% Pinot Noir spread among 30 plots of land and all Grand Cru. Often these plots are vinified plot by plot before blending. they produce roughly 120,000 bottles a year. All fruit is sorted by hand, and all undergo malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats.
Their non vintage wines add one third of older vintages, the so-called Vins de Réserve, and at Barnaut these are stored in stainless steel vats and are a mix of wines up to 8 years. This is a solera system, with the stainless steel vats topped off periodically. Half of each years crop is used for the Vins de Réserve. The average age of the non vintage wines is 5 years on release!
Besides their sparklers, they also make two still wines: a Bouzy Rouge and Le Clos Barnaut, a still rosé wine.
Grande Réserve NV: This is the original cuvée, and its reserve wine comes from the batch first made by Edmond Barnaut and replenished every year. The blend is approximately two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, and represents 65% of the annual production.
Blanc de Noirs NV: Their Blanc de noirs is 100% Bouzy Pinot Noir, and it is big and full flavored without being overly heavy. A great food wine.
Rosé Authentique NV: This Rose is made by the Saignée or skin contact method. mostly Bouzy Pinot Noir, with 10-15% Bouzy Chardonnay for freshness.18 months on the lees, relatively short for Barnaut, before disgorgement. This is a food wine for most
Vintage:: Their vintage wine, like all vintages, is only made in great years and composition is typically half Pinot Noir and Half Chardonnay
Tasting Note: Barnaut Grand Cru NV - from 1/2 bottle
Light straw color with plenty of medium to largish bubbles
Nose - fresh baked sourdough bread, apples and cider
The palate is mouthfilling, warm, and delicious. Apples. Clean, smooth, and powerful.
Yummy, but not spectacular. Then again this is the entry level Barnaut Champagne.
It's a full bore no holds barred Champagne, and certainly to my liking. Just fun to drink without any pretensions. Surprisingly, the usually low scoring Burghound gave this wine 92 points and likes it for the same reasons I do.