Champagne! Champagne!

So we have now hit the mid-point of January and all of the celebrations associated with the festive period have been and gone. We hope that you had an absolutely amazing Christmas that was highlighted by great gifts, amazing film and that precious time with the family that this time of year has come to signify to so many.

As for your New Year’s celebrations, hopefully the Champagne was flowing and you had an amazing time welcoming 2017 and seeing out 2016.

Of course, at this point these celebrations already feel like a distant memory for many. Most of us are now back to work and already returning to the routine that we normally follow during our lives. However, memories of the great glasses of Champagne we enjoyed are probably still there and we at Xtrawine are here to tell you that there is no reason not to refresh those memories. After all, though Champagne is used in many places for celebrations, it truly is a drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

That raises the question of what vintage you should go for when choosing your next bottle of Champagne. Going for a tried and tested option will ensure satisfaction, of course, but it may not be in keeping with the idea of trying new things in a new year.

Perhaps, then, it is better to try a Champagne from a producer that has yet to gain international acclaim, at least on the level of many of its contemporaries, but we anticipate is going to start making waves in the industry in the very near future.

We have the very company for the job too, so let’s take a moment to check out Robert Barbichon and what the company brings to the industry that sets it apart from the many other Champagne producers in the world.

The History

Not a huge amount is known about the history of Robert Barbichon. While many established producers can trace their histories back for tens, or even hundreds, of years, information about this company is fairly light on the ground and they don’t even have a website to promote their wines or the stories behind them.

However, what we do know is most certainly intriguing and warrants further investigation at some point in the future.

Though the company appears to be attempting to generate no online presence at this moment in time, the family history with Champagne stretches back a little further than you may expect. In fact, the brothers Barbichon, for there are two men at work when creating this rather masterful Champagne, are actually the third generation of winemakers from the Gyé sur Seine region.

This commune in the Aube department of north-central France is very lightly populated, with approximately five hundred people calling it their home. However, it is also buried deep within the Champagne region and offers a unique experience to drinkers because of its relative obscurity.

This is something that the brothers Barbichon are well-aware of. After learning their trade from their father Robert, after whom the company is named, the duo began investigating techniques that they could use to really highlight the uniqueness of their land and generate recognition for the wines produced in what is a barely-known commune.

They began by taking what they had learned from their father and expanding on this knowledge by attending a workshop on biodynamic principles that was hosted by Fleury, who is widely-recognized as one of the pioneers of biodynamic principles in Champagne, especially when it comes to applying them to the wines that the region lends its name too.

It is likely this workshop that acted as the inspiration for the brothers Barbichon to go the biodynamic route in creating their own wines. In doing so, they not only show greater respect for the land that offers them their livelihood, but also preserve it so that it can be used by future generations of the family to build on the reputation that the company has already started to develop with its products.

Going biodynamic also serves another purpose, as it allows the company to really emphasize the uniqueness of the Champagnes they produce. Instead of using man-made chemicals, which may have made their wines taste more similar to other Champagnes, the biodynamic principles that they learned from Fleury and implemented on their vineyards have ensured that the Champagnes produced by the company really give drinkers a true taste of the Gyé sur Seine commune.

We can see Robert Barbichon expanding over the coming years and developing the reputation they deserve for making some truly stellar Champagnes. As for what we recommend to you for something new to try in 2017…well let’s take a look.

Barbichon et Fils Bio Champagne Extra Brut

Made using Chardonnay grapes, the Barbichon et Fils Bio Champagne Extra Brut is the perfect example of a popular drink that has been infused with extra personality and depth due to the talents of its producers.

Made using the biodynamic principles that the brothers Barbichon learned during their studies, this wine is produced using sustainable agricultural practices and is capable of surprising even the most experienced of Champagne enthusiasts with its unique flavours.

This gorgeous sparkling wine demonstrates a straw yellow colouring from the moment it is poured, demonstrating that this particular Champagne has been aged well and consumed upon purchase. However, there is also nothing keeping you from ageing it for another ten to fifteen years if you prefer.

As for the bouquet, drinkers will be immediately overwhelmed by the scent of green apples, which is perhaps the most prominent aroma to emanate from the glass. However, what is really remarkable is that this strong initial note eventually gives way to more subtle notes of tropical fruits and yellow fruit pulp. Dig a little deeper and you will also notice some herbal and mineral notes that act as little signatures for the biodynamic processes used to create the wine.

This fruity impression continues when the wine is consumed and is consistent throughout, offering a nice balance and proper acidity all the way to the end.