The Friday Fizz: HENRIOT Brut Souverain, Champagne, NV

The Person:JosephHenriot
The late Joseph Henriot (1936-2015), former head of Veuve Clicquot and owner of Henriot in Champagne and Bouchard Pere et Fils in Burgundy. (His successor is his son Thomas Henriot.)

The Place:
The vineyards and cellars of Champagne Henriot in Reims in Champagne

The Story:henriot_brut_souverain_nv_750
Joseph Henriot studied agronomy in Paris in the 1950s and began working for his family’s Champagne house (founded in 1808) at age 21 when his father died in 1957. He became president in 1962. In 1975 while at Henriot, he bought Charles Heidsieck and ran it until it was bought by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) in 1985. As a member of the board at LVMH, Henriot was appointed head of Veuve Clicquot. In 1994, Henriot bought back his family Champagne house from LVMH and became president of the company. As his vineyard contracts with Clicquot expired, the family vineyards came back to build the production of Henriot. Henriot created Brut Souverain as the statement of the style of his house.

The Wine:
HENRIOT Brut Souverain, Champagne, NV ($45.99)
A methode champenoise blend of 50% Chardonnay (mainly from the Cote de Blancs) and 50% Pinot Noir (mainly from the Montagne de Reims) blended with 20% reserve wines, aged 42-months on the lees (en tirage), and finished with a dosage of 0.8% sugar. Gold-straw colored and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and scant phenolics. Supple, richer but still fresh style with LOTS of ripe citrus and a bit of red fruit. Good toastiness (from the long aging on the yeasts) and mineral (from the excellent terroirs) and a bit of spice. This is an expressive, flavorful style of Brut NV that can handle an array of foods ranging into fowl and game. BearScore: 93.

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