Henriot Champagne

A wonderful Chardonnay dominated Champagne


Henriot, based in Reims, has been producing Champagne since 1808. It was founded by Apolline Henriot who originally sold Champagne under the name "Veuve Henriot Ainé," and is a family run and independent. I love their wines and was first introduced to them at Le Bouchon Breton in Spitalfields Market, London, when the Sommelier gave me a complementary glass and I was impressed by it.

The Henriot family has approximately 35 hectares including superb vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, including le Clos l’Abbé, and Chouilly. Other vineyards include Mareuil and Ay in Vallée de la Marne, and  Aveny in Montagne de Reims. These provide about 15 to 20 percent of their needs depending on the year and most of the rest of their grapes come directly from growers.

The house style is dominated by Chardonnay, no surprise due to their excellent holdings in Chardonnay stronghold Côte des Blancs, and their Pinot Noir comes primarily from the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims. They make a variety of wines, and we'll start with their Non Vintage (NV) ones:

Henriot Brut Souverain NV

This is a wonderful wine with a nose of baked bread, dough, sandstone, and lime and on the palate it is light and airy with some citrus notes mainly lemon and lime with perhaps a touch of vanilla. As it warms golden apples appear on the nose and palate.

Henriot Brut Souverain Blanc de Blancs NV

Made entirely of Chardonnay from Côte des Blancs, this is a lightly colored with a very fresh, crsip and lively nose. Citrus, minerals, and flowers dominate the scents and flavors and it is perfectly balanced. A laid back yet intense wine.

Henriot Brut Rose NV

Red fruits, berries, and spices and a long finish

And now, their vintage wines:

Henriot Vintage Brut Millesime and Vintage Brut Rose

Their vintage and age worthy Champagnes. Interestingly, there is no mention of the VIntage Rose on their web site, although I recently consumed a magnum of 1988. It was a great deal, perhaps a bit young, and delightful if not a tad simple.

Henriot Champagne Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut

Henriot's Tete de Cuvee and highly regarded and ageworthy. Chardonnay dominated, elegant, yet with plenty of structure. Only made in great years like 1996.

I've never met a Henriot I didn't like. From the NV Brut Souverain, a great deal and a wonderful wine, up to the Cuvée des Enchanteleurs, these are all solid offerings. Supposedly the quality of the house took a big step upwards since 1994 when Joseph Henriot left Veuve Cliquot and took over. For now, I'll just be glad I have some Henriot Champagne in my cellar, quite a few bottles of Brut Millesime 1996.