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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.
Mature and rounded, Brut Millésimé 2003 is the result ofmost atypical weather conditions in Champagne. This complex cuvée, dominated by black fruit, would be suitable over a meal, a blend of the very best vineyards producing a most pleasant champagne.
THE 2003 VINTAGE
An unusual year in Champagne with a succession of hitherto unseen periods. After a cold,wet winter, hard spring frosts destroyed a large part of the vineyards, essentially in the chardonnay districts. Warm weather began in May followed by heavy hail storms in July. Then very hot weather during August destroyed part of the crop which just dried up on the vine. These extreme conditions led to the loss of a great number of bunches but the remaining grapes were rich and concentrated. To preserve the quality while still maintaining asmuch freshness as possible, the harvest began on the 18th August, the earliest ever recorded.
Maison Henriot decided to make a 2003 vintage as supply of grapes from the chalky slopes suffered less from the heat. Moreover, the weather conditions in 2003 year have produced a truly unique character. This cuvée represents both the characteristic style of the House and the specificity of the year, with dominant black fruit, suppleness and exceptional maturity.
52% chardonnay – 48% pinot noir
It is in the quiet, dark Henriot cellars in Reims that the bottles of Brut Millésimé 2003 remain for a period of 6 years.
On the eye : Golden yellow with fine bubbles and an attractive ring of mousse.
On the nose: A complex nose withmature notes (leather), the strength of the pinots attesting the originality of the year 2003. Rich aromas reveal elegant notes of black fruit (cherry, blackberry, bilberry).
On the palate: The wine has fine maturity with the pinots dominating the palate but also richness from the chardonnays. Mellow notes follow : pastries, marzipan with a touch of honey, toast and aromas of gingerbread. Fine ripe notes complete the finale.
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