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Since 1808, Champagne Henriot, one of the last independent and family-owned houses in Champagne, has pursued a tradition of excellence – a fragile balance between delicacy, intensity, and purity. For seven generations, the family has selected only the very best vineyards, concentrated on the purity of chardonnay and has upheld the utmost respect for time in order to ensure the cuvee has an opportunity to reach its full expression.
The choices made in blending perpetuate the house style: chardonnay reigns in proportion (fifty to sixty percent). It brings finesse, elegance, richness and freshness. Pinot noir gives essential structure. Pinot meunier contributes fruit complexity. Non vintage wines may contain as many as fifty different crus in precisely orchestrated balance, with roughly twenty percent reserve wines. It is again Champagne Henriot’s task to impart a distinct personality to its wines. These wines, which may be a decade in age and are tasted at least every three months, comprise the house’s library, guaranteeing the perpetuity of its style.
A warm and wet winter was followed by an equally wet spring. First, in May, came the seri- ous heat, which gave a fast owering around June 14. Chlorosis and mold growth were evi- dent. June and August were hot and dry. But if you were like me, and tried to have a July vaca- tion in Champagne that year, you noticed how cold and rainy it was. The weather was almost as bad as at home, with constant rain and local hailstorms.
Everything looked hopeless, but the good weather during harvest saved a decent amount of fresh grapes. Harvest started on my birthday—September 11—and ended in early October. Chardonnay and pinot meunier did better than the delicate pinot noir. The year will become sought after thanks to their magic number. The quality does not look too fancy yet though. The wines are quite light with short lives. However, it is a very enjoyable moment, with its intense exotic aromas of passion fruit and tangerine. I am delighted to recommend some romantic bottles of the successful pink trio William Deutz Rosé, Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, and Pommery Cuvée Louise Rosé.
by Richard Juhlin/