Discover rare and unique wines with boutique wine merchant Bacchus Wines PLDC
From exclusive champagnes to fascinating châteaux, Bacchus Wines uncovers winemaking’s best kept secrets
Independent boutique wine merchants are on the rise in the UK. These small but perfectly formed organisations may not dominate the market, but they are making waves with bespoke wine offers and exclusive relationships with unique vineyards. For those oenophiles among us who are bored of drinking the same wines, seeking variety or just want a little more from our selection, these undiscovered but highly regarded and award-winning vintners might just be the answer to our dinner party prayers.
Bacchus Wines PLDC is one of the UK’s independent estate-wine merchants. Born from an obsession for good wine and good times, Bacchus Wines was founded by wine aficionado Pierre-Loup DeCam and Trond Rornes, the Managing Director of CardsSafe Ltd – two friends with a passion for wine with provenance, rather than faddy wines or what the bigger wine merchants say you should drink. The pair has spent 30 years working hard and enjoying quality wines from around the globe.
“I’ve always been involved in viniculture; it’s in my blood, so to speak,” Pierre-Loup says. “I’ve been selling wine to friends, chefs, customers and patrons for decades through my years in event hospitality and while running a wonderful 500-year-old gastropub in Hampshire. But I have always conducted face-to-face business and firmly believe that you must taste, feel and love the wine to buy it.”
Pierre-Loup and Trond launched Bacchus Wines PLDC online in 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic – perhaps not the best time to unveil a boutique online wine business on paper, but the entrepreneurial chaps wanted to maintain the personal, bespoke offer they enjoyed in their other businesses and share these beautiful and loved wines with a broader audience.
Today, in addition to online sales, their service extends to private tastings, a concierge service to source rare wines, assistance with curating wine lists for event, and expert knowledge perfect for party planning.
The current Bacchus range is petite but perfectly curated, and the founders have long-standing relationships with each chosen estate. They know their wines inside out and select them on merit and quality. The flagship vineyards in their collection are Château de Parenchère and Champagne Paul Lebrun. You’ve probably never heard of them, but you soon will.
Château de Parenchère
The family-run Chateau de Parenchère was established in 1958 by Raphaël Gazaniol, but the estate dates back to 1570 and has a long and well-established history in viticulture. It is located on the eastern edge of the Bordeaux wine-growing region, on the borders of Dordogne and Lot et Garonne.
Raphaël and his son Jean decided to make Château de Parenchère a true Grand Vin de Bordeaux, demonstrating that great wines can come from more modestly recognised appellations. Over the past seven years, they have also been transitioning to organic winemaking and adopting a sustainable approach to ensure quality and respect for the environment.
Former Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jake S Watkins is a big fan of the château. “I have been buying wines from Pierre-Loup DeCam of Bacchus Wines for over 22 years,” he says. “When I owned the Michelin-starred JSW Restaurant in Hampshire –and since retiring – I stock my cellar with the joyful wines of Château de Parenchère. They are my go-to wines, and I always receive excellent wines and service.”
Esprit de Parenchère Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge is a highly concentrated yet exquisite wine. It is powerful but with finesse, and offers exceptionally long ageing potential. It is produced from the two best plots on the estate with extremely low yields. The blend is composed predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape with the most structure and an excellent aptitude for ageing. One for collectors, it is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels on fine lees, without racking and micro-oxygenation. It is ideal to drink after eight to 15 years. Award-winning and a hit with the critics, the Esprit de Parenchère is a must-try.
Champagne Paul Lebrun
Another undiscovered but highly revered producer is Champagne Paul Lebrun, with whom Bacchus Wines PLDC has a UK-exclusive partnership.
Founded in 1902, Paul Lebrun draws its inspiration from multi-generational winemaking know-how. The vineyards of the maison are located on the prestigious Côte des Blancs in Cramant, one of the 17 villages classified as Grand Cru in the Champagne region. Through their wines, the Vignier-Lebrun family seeks to highlight chardonnay’s unique character and rich taste. It is the only grape variety grown on their chalky soils south of Épernay and on the soils rich in rolled pebbles in Sézanne, which are rare in the Champagne vineyards. Aged in cellars – or caves – dug into the limestone beneath Champagne, these exquisite wines benefit from low temperatures all year round, offering quality and consistency.
Available online or through consultation, the Paul Lebrun Champagne current collection comprises two cuvées, with the Prestige Brut Champagne at the top of our list.
Cuvée Prestige by Paul Lebrun is a refined and elegant champagne meeting the highest expectations of demanding connoisseurs. It is aged on lees for at least 48 months and produced in vats and oak barrels. It is made from 100% chardonnay grapes, is intense and complex on the nose and golden-yellow with tiny bubbles. The lively effervescence accentuates the ripe fruitiness of peach and nectarine. Hints of gingerbread are on the nose, alongside freshly churned butter and some floral notes. Quite greedy on the palate, with a creamy texture and well-integrated acidity, the long finish offers softness, suppleness and elegance.
Anders Cassel, partner Kingsgate Associates, is an avid collector. He said: “I have enjoyed drinking good quality Champagne for more than forty years, and the Cuvée Prestige from Paul Lebrun is amongst the best I have ever tried.”
If you want more from your wine for the home, party, event, or gift and expect a bespoke and personalised service, and prefer to drink wine that is (as yet) undiscovered, Bacchus Wines PLDC is the wine merchant for you. Their passion and enthusiasm are intoxicating, and you’ll love their handpicked collection of wine and Champagne. They also offer private wine tasting, because they are convinced that you won’t look back when you try their wines.