RICHARD ON HENRIOT Joseph Henriot is one of Champagne’s most powerful men. After having been the boss of Veuve Clicquot for many years, he returned to Henriot in 1994. Today the firm is run by his modest and extremely competent son, Stanislas Henriot. Winemaker is Laurent Fresnet.
The Henriot family were established as growers in Champagne by 1640 they started their own Champagne house in 1808. The firm’s strength has always been the high-class vineyards they owned in Côte des Blancs. Today they only own twenty-five hectares of vineyards in Chouilly, Avize, and Épernay. The total proportion of Chardonnay obtained from the firm’s fine contracts with growers is more than 20 percent; it dominates the house-style with its clean, elegant, fresh citrus fruit.
The Henriot family has always had strong ties with Charles Heidsieck, and still shares offices and wineries. With Clicquot, on the other hand, they share a cellar. The firm’s biggest export market is Switzerland, where Henriot’s dry, classic, slightly discreet Champagnes are a great success. The firm did well at the Millennium Tasting. Personally, I like these elegant classics more and more. Some of the most drinkable wines in the world has got the Henriot Label. Very close to 5 stars.
HENRIOT ‘BRUT SOUVERAIN’ – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 55PN 45CH / RJpoints 82(88) TASTING NOTE ‘It’s wonderful to avoid Pinot Meunier in a large firm’s nonvintage Champagne. The nose is classically bready. The large portion of Chardonnay sticks out in the delicate, light taste. The house-style is marked. Very fine and evolved of late, thanks to up to seven-year-old reserve wines.’
HENRIOT ‘BLANC de BLANCS’ – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 100CH / RJpoints 85(91) TASTING NOTE ‘Through the years, a highly regarded wine. It’s only now, in the beginning of the new century, that I’ve fallen for this elegant, storable beauty. The wine has a wonderful note of white flowers, vanilla, lightly perfumed honey, and lime peel. All of this clad in a silky, buttery, dusky dress.’
HENRIOT ‘MILLÉSIME’ 2005 – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 48PN 52CH / RJpoints 90(92) TASTING NOTE ‘Young and undeveloped, but already clearly a classic Henriot which with its lovely house style is certainly going to show its brilliance in the future. Classic Henriot!’
HENRIOT ‘ROSÉ’ – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 55PN 45CH / RJpoints 77(84) TASTING NOTE ‘A supple, light rosé champagne with the elegance of early summer and a slightly seductive, feminine character. Rather up-tight and slippery as yet, but certainly storable if one wishes for a bit more zing in the flavour.’
HENRIOT ‘ROSÉ’ 1988 – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 52PN 48CH / RJpoints 81(87) TASTING NOTE ‘A pure and well-made rosé with good red and blackcurrant tones and excellent mineral riches.’
HENRIOT ‘ROSÉ’ 1989 – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 52PN 48CH / RJpoints (Richard has not tasted this Champagne yet) Björnstierne Points 91(93) TASTING NOTE ‘This is the kind of exuberantly good, uncomplicated wine that you want all your friends to taste. Sweet, nectar-like essence, with tons of different candy notes and a thick, massive, fruity richness. Uniform and voluptuous. Healthy color and mousse.’
HENRIOT ‘ROSÉ’ 1990 – Reims / Champagne / France / Henriot / Swedish importer: Mondowine / 57PN 43CH / RJpoints 92(92) TASTING NOTE ‘Beautiful and well-built Champagne with a bit more heft than in earlier vintages. Rich, evolved, fat, with creamy fruit. A delightful symphony in a fluffy style. Now fully mature and leathery.’.