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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs 1996

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • WS97
  • WE97
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • WS95
  • W&S94
  • BH92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

On the eye: Radiant, warm and limpid yellow-gold. Fine, persistent effervescence. On the nose: The nose is dominated by aromas of fresh fruit and slightly candied citrus fruit, followed by floral notes that offer an airy, discreet and pleasant bouquet. On the palate: Lots of freshness, a sign of remarkable purity and great finesse. The wine shows excellent maturity, revealed gradually on the palate: dried fruit, caramel, spicy flavours.

The name "Enchanteleur" borne by this rare wine refers to the cellar workers in the days when vinification was carried out only in barrels. Their work consisted in particular of piling up the casks on wooden beams. It was said that they "put the casks on chantiers (gantries)", that they "enchantelaient"... They traditionally enjoyed the privilege of making for themselves a small Champagne cuvée produced from the finest wines.

So as to enhance the remarkable character of the 1996 vintage, Champagne Henriot chose to add Pinot Noir's power to the elegance of Chardonnay (in the majority). Supplies came mainly from among six of Champagne's most prestigious Grands Crus: Mailly Champagne, Verzy and Verzenay on the Montagne de Reims, and Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 97
Wine Spectator
Tight-grained, with an immediate impression of the sea before forest floor and citrus notes take over. This is bright and fresh, with plenty of spice, toast and candied berry flavors, backed by a firm structure. The finish just keeps going. Best from 2012 through 2040.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
With all the extreme intensity of this vintage, this wine brings even more. The start of cookie yeast and toast character, a vibrant mineral texture, hints of spice, green herbs and a final white peach flavor. It is still young, just keep aging.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Brut Cuvee des Enchanteleurs is one of the softer, more forward 1996s readers are likely to come across. Smoke, cantaloupe, pear, flowers, mint, sweet baking spices and apricots are some of the notes that emerge from this layered, sublime Champagne. The finish is long and polished. The 1996 Enchanteleurs is drinking beautifully today, but also appears to have the stuffing to age gracefully for at least another decade. Disgorged: June, 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.
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Henriot

Henriot

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Henriot, Champagne, France
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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.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.

Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Champagne & Sparkling

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Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.

The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.

HNYHENCDE96C_1996 Item# 107689