Henriot – A Champagne Review

*Not a bit of sponsorship, advertising or persuasion from anyone to write this. Simply exploring the world of drinks one glass at a time and sharing what I find. The bottle of Champagne was a gift, the thoughts are my own*

Not too long ago I wrote about a wonderful dining experience in The Coburg Brasserie which was not long open. Since then it has garnered more than a few positive reviews which I’m delighted to see.  On my visit we were treated to their house Champagne which is Henriot Brut Souverain.

Henriot Champagne

Henriot Champagne

In the run up to starting my WSET Level 2 course in September I’ve been focusing a little more on taking the time to appreciate, research, understand and write about wines and spirits I’m enjoying.  With the course coming up in the not too distant future I find I’m challenging myself more to identify different tastes and find the right words to describe them while keeping a bit of a drinkers journal (that sounds a little less sophisticated than what I imagined) at the same time.

So on a sunny afternoon in the garden with nothing but time on my hands and a chilled bottle in the fridge I sat down to enjoy the bubbly nectar that is Henriot Brut Souverain Champagne.  Being the generous man I am I did of course share it and not over indulge.

So where is it from?

Well the family behind it have a long history which dates back to the 1640’s when they acquired some vineyards.  While they dabbled with wine making for quite a number of years it wasn’t until 1808 that Henriot Champagne was officially founded.  Before long it was passing the lips of royalty and naturally became a great success.  It remains to this day one of the few privately owned houses in Champagne.

The grape, the look, the aroma and the taste…..

Grape wise its a mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Appearance wise when released from its glass prison the Henriot bubbles enthusiastically out of the bottle into the glass*.  An initial dense effervescence, transforms into an abundant white layer which gives way to a light golden hue similar to the foil which housed it.

On the nose I got hints of elderflower and perhaps a little apple.  There was also an underlying aroma which reminded me of baking but I couldn’t quite place it.  The taste is immediately refreshing with suggestions of citrus and quite possibly I’m going mad but I swear there was a very subtle nod to toast there. Yes toast, as in from the toaster.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable Champagne which is versatile and pleasing.  Tindal Wine Merchants look after its distribution in Ireland.  After a bit of a search it seems that a few independent wine shops last had it 6/7 months ago but no longer stock it.  The Coburg however have it for €17 a glass or to enjoy with friends a bottle for €90.

*I’m reliably informed that a large glass does far more for the taste of champagne than the long slender champagne flute we all become so enamored with*

Henriot Champagne

What to serve it with?

It’s quite a diverse champagne so you won’t be too troubled to find a simple and elegant food pairing for it. Seafood of course is always going to be a crowd pleaser. Perhaps try some fried calamari or monkfish with it. If you are dining alfresco you could also rustle up a summer salad with goats cheese or simply serve it with a smile on its own as a warm welcome.  Mine, I had it reading the Sunday papers with my feet up in the garden. Like I said you won’t have any trouble pairing it with what suits you best.

Henriot Champagne

Better Shared (I’m told)

Feel free to join in the conversation !