Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar #Winophiles

December is Champagne-Time
December is a time for celebration and many take the opportunity to open a bottle of Champagne. The French Winophiles are similarly inclined, though they may also open some Champagne on birthdays, minor holidays, #ChampagneDay or a Tuesday! This month, our writers are sharing some new ideas for you to try in your Champagne celebrations. Scroll down farther in this post to see the full link list. You’re sure to find something new and irresistable! I’m digging into a lesser known sub-region with the large Champagne appellation. Do you like farmers more than city-glitz? Take a look!

Click on any photo in the galleries below to see a full size slideshow

The Côte des Bar Champagne Region in the Aube
The Côte des Bar is one of the Champagne growing regions, though it is quite separate from the well known areas around Reims and Epernay. About 90 minutes by car to the south, the Côte des Bar was historically viewed as a lesser region though the grapes were necessary to supply the great houses to the north. The area is very rural and reminds that grape growing, even for Champagne, is farming first and foremost. There aren’t any chalk caves, but there are some great cellars filled with history. And Champagne.

The towns are humble and small though there are many interesting areas to explore. Essoyes is the home of August Renoir, celebrated today with a museum. Luckily, in France, fine gastronomic restaurants can exist in the middle of nowhere – Le Garde Champetre is a great example. One bonus to the rural location – easy to get a reservation!

Disclosure: None required, wine was purchased and prior visits were personal visits.

Domaine La Borderie
The Normand family of Domaine la Borderie is a long time grape growing family, but they are only in their second generation of growing and producing their own Champagne. They farm 11 ha (about 27 acres) in the region. They reserve 1.5 ha of vines for producing 11,000 bottles of their own Domaine la Borderie wines, selling the remaining grapes to area cooperatives and houses. They carry both the HVE (High Environmental Value) and VDC (Viticulture Durable en Champagne) certifications in their grape growing.

Domaine La Borderie “Trois Contrées” Brut NV Champagne

Domaine La Borderie Trois Contrées Brut NV Champagne (61 euros in Dijon, or here)
Domaine la Borderie grows all their own grapes and makes the Champagne. You’ll see the small RM on the label, designating them a Grower Champagne. They have a numer of cuvées, this one is Trois Contrées featuring three parcels of vineyard, three expositions and three grapes (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc).
Eye: Rich medium gold color with fine mousse and persistent bubbles
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of yeast, brioche, apple pie, bruised apples, cinnamon, cloves
Mouth: Dry, high acidity, rich medium plus body, medium alcohol, medium plus intensity flavors, long finish. The flavors echo the nose with strong baked apple with cinnamon, lightly oxidized, yeast notes with long lingering ripe apple.
Observations: Quite a contrast to a lean Blanc de Blanc, this wine shows the variety possible from the southern part of the Champagne region. Deliciou

Aube Champagne with Late Autumn Risotto
Wherever we live, we love the local farmers market. While living in Dijon, we got to know lots of the local farmers selling their wares at Les Halles on Saturdays and Tuesdays. We made a nice fall themed risotto with the last of the local Chanterelle mushrooms and some lardon fumé (smoked pork belly bits). Perfect for a relaxing dinner at home on a chilly evening. The richness of this Champagne was perfect for the fall flavors in the risotto while providing a cleansing acidity.

Champagne Producers to Visit in the Côte des Bar

French Winophiles Writers Celebrate Champagne
French Winophiles writers celebrate with Chamapagne and you should too! Take a look below at some great ideas to add to your holiday celebrations.

• Cindy at Grape Experiences shares “Celebrate with 4 Easy-to-Make Champagne Cocktails
• Camilla at Culinary Cam shares “A Royally Good Match: The King of Mushrooms + The Wine of Kings
• Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Champagne Cattier – Sustainable Champagne creating a home for the hedgehogs
• Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Champagne Paired with Roasted Oysters with Bacon and Leeks
• Gwendolyn at Wine Predator….Gwendolyn Alley shares “Special Wines for Special Occasions: Champagne! It’s Not Just for Toasts!
• Martin at Enofylz shares “How I Learned To Expand Champagne’s Role At The Table
• Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “Generations of Women in Epernay – Champagne Elodie D.
• Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar

Comments
9 Responses to “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar #Winophiles”
  1. robincgc says:

    Grower Champagne is my favorite! This is where you get to see the personality of the place. It seems mushroom risotto is the thing to make these days. I’m going to have to whip some up myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. The best part of being in France is the access to and the affordability of French wine– like this Champagne! That risotto looks so delish as well.

  3. You are fortunate to have access to many small French wine producers and farmer’s markets! Amazing as always.

  4. Lynn says:

    We haven’t made it to the Aube yet, perhaps a place to meet up when you two return. Meanwhile, in true #Winophiles style, as you noted above, it’s time to pop a 🍾 cork 😜

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  1. […] Harvest shares “Generations of Women in Epernay – Champagne Elodie D.”• Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des […]

  2. […] • Cindy at Grape Experiences shares “Celebrate with 4 Easy-to-Make Champagne Cocktails“• Camilla at Culinary Cam shares “A Royally Good Match: The King of Mushrooms + The Wine of Kings“• Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Champagne Cattier – Sustainable Champagne creating a home for the hedgehogs“• Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Champagne Paired with Roasted Oysters with Bacon and Leeks“• Gwendolyn at Wine Predator….Gwendolyn Alley shares “Special Wines for Special Occasions: Champagne! It’s Not Just for Toasts!“• Martin at Enofylz shares “How I Learned To Expand Champagne’s Role At The Table”• Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “Generations of Women in Epernay – Champagne Elodie D.“• Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar“ […]

  3. […] Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar“ […]

  4. […] • Cindy at Grape Experiences shares “Celebrate with 4 Easy-to-Make Champagne Cocktails” • Camilla at Culinary Cam shares “A Royally Good Match: The King of Mushrooms + The Wine of Kings” • Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Champagne Cattier –Sustainable Champagne creating a home for the hedgehogs” • Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Champagne Paired with Roasted Oysters with Bacon and Leeks” • Gwendolyn at Wine Predator….Gwendolyn Alley shares “Special Wines for Special Occasions: Champagne! It’s Not Just for Toasts!” • Martin at Enofylz shares “How I Learned To Expand Champagne’s Role At The Table” • Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “Generations of Women in Epernay – Champagne Elodie D.” • Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Hidden Champagne: The Côte des Bar […]



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