Baron Fuente, Champagne Grande Reserve Demi-Sec (NV)

The Baron family has owned and cultivated lands in Champagne since the 17th century. Upon his marriage in 1961 to Dolores Fuenté, Gabriel Baron was given 1 hectare of vineyard by his father. In 1967, as a symbol of their union, Gabriel and Dolores named their brand new company: “Champagne Baron-Fuenté.” The first bottles were produced and marketed directly to private customers and to local restaurants. In 1982, their daughter Sophie joined the family business, followed by their son Ignace in 1992.
Today, the domaine spreads over 38 hectares of vineyards near the village of Charly-sur-Marne, on the western side of the Marne river valley. The yearly production is 1.5 million bottles with 4 million bottles maturing in the cellars at all times. 96% of the fruit comes from their estate vineyards, the remaining from producers with which they have long term contracts, hence their NM status.
The style of the Champagne is dominated by Pinot Meunier, bringing fruit and delicacy to the cuvées. Smaller proportions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir bring finesse and strength to the blend. Winemaker, general manager, and owner Ignace Baron is in charge of fashioning the house style. He has a diploma in oenology from Avize, a town located close to Epernay. Trained by their father in the early nineties, Ignace and Sophie learned about the specificities of bringing out the best of the terroir of the western Marne valley and the meticulous care needed to make exceptional Champagne. The marl, clay and sandy soils of the valley provide the perfect home for Pinot Meunier. Baron Fuente's philosophy is to:
- Hand pick the grapes, in order to select the best quality.
- Use as much Pinot Meunier grapes as possible, to bring fruit to the Champagne.
- Use as little sulfite as possible, using very fresh grapes coming from vineyards from the neighborhood. There is then a very short time between harvest and the start of fermentation in the vat.
- Keep the alcoholic fermentation at 16°C (60°F) in stainless steel vats, which brings freshness to the cuvées.
- Have the second fermentation in bottle last at least 36 months, which makes the Champagne rounder and with fine and delicate bubbles.
- disgorge every 3 months – that way, the Champagne remains fresh with aroma of brioche.
Farming practices: sustainable