Paul Bara Special Club

Drawing vibrant energy, mineral-laden texture and impeccable control from vast, expansive fruit of old-vine Bouzy magnitude calls for quite some wizardry. Paul Bara uses a strong dose of chardonnay to counter pinot noir’s exuberance, making for a refreshingly pale medium straw hue for a champagne almost a decade old. It’s a powerful hit of gingernut biscuits, anise, fig, honey and red fruits of all kinds, even blackberries, blackcurrants and licorice, bathed in velvety warmth, underlined by the freshness of crunchy lemon zest and the dynamism of lively 2004 malic acidity. Achingly youthful and dynamic. $135 at Bellevue Hill.