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The Giraud-Hémart family own 20 hectares - 35 parcels of Grand Cru land of which 26 is planted with Pinot Noir and 9 with Chardonnay. Only 17 of the Champagne region’s 323 Crus are classed as Grand Crus (rated 100%). The wine production of Giraud estate is environmentally-friendly, subscribing to the ‘lutte-raisonnée’ (limited intervention grape growing).
The overall production is limited to 250 000 bottles a year, making the Giraud Champagne stand apart from the majority of bulk-producing champagne houses.
The Giraud house is one of the few houses (Krug is another example) that conduct primary fermentations in oak. Henri Giraud pride themselves on sourcing wood for its barrels from the slow growing, tight grained, high quality trees of the ancient forest of Argonne, lying just 35 miles from the estate.
Described by leading wine critic Robert Parker as "the finest Champagne house virtually no one has ever heard of”.
Argonne forest’s oak trees are unique, they allowed the Champagne region to make the greatest wines in the world and helped France build one of the most powerful fleets, contributing to its international reputation. But few of us know that great oak trees can’t survive and reproduce without human intervention and care!
Ravaged by two world wars, then abandoned by the people of Champagne, this magnificent forest is in danger. Champagne Henri Giraud began the fight for its rehabilitation with the first vintage of the cuvée "Fût de Chêne" in 1990.
With Cuvée Argonne and in partnership with ONF, pioneer in sustainable development since the fourteenth century, Champagne Henri Giraud wants to ensure the sustainability of this forest - Forever and ever.
Argonne embodies the Henri Giraud philosophy that Champagne is wine, not just bubbles. For every bottle of Argonne purchased, a donation is made towards the replanting of the Argonne Forest.
• Ay Grand Cru
• 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
• Vines average 50 years of age
• From 1 hectare of vines on pure chalk
• Vinified in barrel
• Matured in 228-liter barrels, 30% new, for 12 months
• Aged in bottle for 8-10 years before release
• Suitable for vegans
The next most exceptional vintage since 2008. A truly difficult growing season saw severe frosts in the winter. March brought warmth but early budbreak made the vines vulnerable to spring frosts. Overall, the early growing season was wet, and mildew became a serious issue. However, conditions improved dramatically in the later summer months. An August heatwave resulted in a rapid accumulation of sugar, but fortunately the nights remained cool, which helped to preserve acidity. Although yields were low (averaging at 9,210 kg/ha) due to frost, hail and disease early in the season, the 2012 harvest was exemplary in its maturity, acidity and grape health. A rare high acid, high sugar September harvest with impeccable concentration of flavour and refreshing vibrancy. Pinot Noir is the superstar of the vintage, though Pinot Meunier excelled too. A vintage that promises great longevity for the finest cuvées, it was widely declared by producers. However, Krug decided to invest in its reserve wines on this great year, and no Vintage was produced. The quality of 2012 is universally high, with the greatest releases so far including Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, as well as Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé.