Henriot Brut Souverain
Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
A beautiful gold color. The bubbles are persistent, fine and regular. The nose is pleasant, made very elegant by the large amount of Chardonnay. The Brut Souverain is sharp, well balanced and harmonious on the palate.
Wine Enthusiast - "A beautifully fine mousse indicates the class of this finely crafted wine. It has some weight, flavors of green apples, with hints of fresh apricots. There is extreme freshness here, the style dry but rich. This bottling tastes young and would be worth aging six months."
Wine & Spirits - "Henriot's non-vintage blend takes a panoramic view of Champagne, working with fruit from 25 crus, 60 percent pinot noir (mostly Montagne de Reims) and 40 percent chardonnay (mostly Cote des Blancs). One third of the blend is reserve wine from four vintages, The current release is brisk, bright, zesty and grand, its flavors combining fresh lemon and earthy roasted fennel in a gracious, mouthwatering Champagne.
Best Buy "
Wine Spectator - "Shows lovely balance, with a lacy texture and a fine frame of acidity enlivening the rich flavors of toasted brioche, baked plum, graphite, crystallized honey and ground anise. Offers a smoky, lingering finish. "
International Wine Cellar - "Light gold. Fresh pear, melon and lemon zest on the floral- and mineral-accented nose. Bright and energetic, offering spicy pear and lemon curd flavors enlivened by chalky minerality. Shows a suave blend of richness and energy, with impressive finishing clarity and stony persistence. A more lively showing than I expected for this bottling, which typically displays more musky, smoky character."
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Founded in Reims in 1808, Champagne Henriot celebrated its 200th birthday in 2008; joining the very exclusive circle of independent 200-year old family owned and managed champagne houses.
Over the years Champagne Henriot has cultivated a unique style of its own, guided only by the pursuit of the rich, pure expression of Chardonnay. Strict grape requirements enable Henriot to highlight the minerality and precision of their vineyards, while the use of malolactic fermentation, a high percentage of reserve wines in their cuvées and extended lees aging result in wines of great expression, elegance and depth. "Time is our ally and patience our secret" says Joseph Henriot. "They are the fundamental elements to our success."
Today, the Henriot family's expertise is backed not only by their storied history in Champagne but also in their celebrated triumphs in both Burgundy and Chablis with Bouchard Père & Fils, William Fèvre and Villa Ponciago. View all Henriot Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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