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1979 HENRIOT ‘RÉSERVE BARON PHILIPPE de ROTHSCHILD’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | Henriot | 50PN 50CH | RJpoints 95(95)

TASTING NOTE ‘The Baron’s own Champagne from 1979 is similar to the ’81 for the most part. The fruit may be a touch richer in this wine. Previously this wine appeared clumsy and low in acidity. Today we know better. The concentration is magnificent, almost like a ’76 at the same time the wine enters with a new floral and citrus-fresh Chardonnay side. Completely wonderful! The equal proportions of Pinot and Chardonnay give the wine balance. Baron Philippe is always a heavier and more full-bodied Champagne than Baccarat. Slightly less impresive, when last tasted.’

RJ 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.

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