A small negociant who is sometimes called a Pinot Meunier specialist


Although the Baron family has had a vineyard in Charly sur Marne since the 17th century, the seeds of Baron-Fuente began in 1961 when Gabriel Baron married Dolores Fuente, a daughter of Spanish immigrants, and they were given 1 hectare of vines for their wedding. The house was officially formed in 1967. They have steadily expanded to where they now own 38 hectares of vines and purchase grapes from another 38 hectares. Charly sur Marne is about halfway between Paris and Reims, and slightly closer to Epernay than either.

Baron-Fuente produces a nearly dizzying array of wines which are sometimes described as feminine and many have a high percentage of Pinot Meunier in their blends. They are sometimes considered a Pinot Meunier specialist, although they also produce Blanc de blancs (all Chardonnay) and a 100% Pinot Noir Blanc de noirs (Grand Cepages Pinot Noir).

As examples of their blends, the Tradition Brut is 70% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay, the Grand Reserve Brut is 30% Chardonnay, 60% Meunier, and 10% Pinot Noir, and the Grand Millesime (a vintage wine) is 40% Pinot Meunier, 45% Chardonnay, and 15% Chardonnay.

Although I found the bottle described below in Edinburgh Scotland in a tourist shop and labeled "Buckingham Palace Champagne" (presumably the Queen approves?), I've found several bottlings available in the USA as well.Baron Fuente Buckingham Palace Champagne

Tasting Note: Buckingham Palace Champagne (labeled Baron-Fuente Vintage 2004 Brut in smaller print) - October, 2012 - rated B/B+ although my drinking companion liked it better.

I found it a bit on the tart side, although that may resolve with time and it may rate a higher score.

Light yellow in color with plenty of mid sized bubbles.

The nose has green apple, some lime rind  and cantaloupe with a hint of chalk underneath.

The Palate has nice ripe apple, good buoyant acidity, a touch of orange citrus, and pear as it warms. A bit tart, otherwise it would rate a higher score, but  it's absolutely lovely. Other tasting notes I've found online comment similarly on the tartness, including that it may resolve with time - this was a young wine when drank.