2000 Bouzy Rouge by Paul Bara. Pure class. This wine is so intense that I can only drink a little bit of it at a time, and yet it achieves this without any sense of weight whatsoever. (I mean, come on, it’s grown at close to the 50th parallel, for crying out loud.) An ample, effortlessly fragrant aroma of pure, crushed berry fruit saturates the palate, but at only 12.5 percent alcohol, this feels delicate and lively rather than rich, infused by a profound sense of minerality. You can almost taste bits of chalk in the glass. The most striking thing about this wine is how terroir-specific it is: it’s clearly from the southern portion of the Montagne de Reims, but it’s just as clearly from Bouzy and not Ambonnay, with its voluptuous, red-fruit flavors and generous fragrance.
It’s funny—this wine would probably be laughably expensive if you were to import it into the United States, but I would pay the money. I daresay it would be a better buy than many wines from Burgundy in the equivalent price range. Perhaps a 1989, 1996 or maybe 2002 could be more complex and grand, but it’s difficult to improve upon the sheer satisfaction of this wine. This is reference-standard stuff, not only for Bouzy, but for Coteaux Champenois as a category.