Marie-Noelle Henriet is the 5th generation in her family of independent winemakers at this boutique Champagne house. She produces exciting champagnes that reflect the history and unique geography of their six hectares of premium vineyards in the heart of the Montagne de Reims.
9 rue des Mises, Villers-Marmery.
Henriet-Bazin Selection Brut Premier Cru
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Around 30% reserve wines from a perpetual blend solera. Dosage 8g/L.
Henriet-Bazin Blanc de Blancs Brut Premier Cru
100% Chardonnay from Villiers-Marmery in the Montagne de Reims. 30% reserve wines from a perpetual blend solera. From a mix of plots, varying in age from 35 to 50 years. Dosage 8g/L.
Henriet-Bazin Carte d’Or Vintage Premier Cru
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir fruit comes from the Grand Cru villages of Verzenay and Verzy, and the Chardonnay from Villers-Marmery. The age of the vines varies by plot, from 16 years for Les Lyvris to 50 years for Les Bas Couloirs. Dosage 8g/L.
Henriet-Bazin Marie-Amelie Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Vintage
100% Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims. Average vine age 52 years. A style that expresses mineral purity. Dosage 9g/L.
Henriet-Bazin Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Grand Cru Vintage
100% Pinot Noir from the Grand Cru villages of Verzenay and Verzy. All of the fruit comes from two plots, Les Jumandes and Les Lyvris. Dosage 5g/L.
Champagne Henriet-Bazin traces its origins back to two families, both deeply rooted in the region. The Bazin family from Verzenay were vignerons who sold their grapes for pressing. Eugenie Bazin married Gaston Henriet towards the end of the 19th century, and soon after Gaston took the decision to start making his own champagnes, a bold move at a time when there were very few independent grower-producers in Champagne.
It was Gaston's son Robert and his dynamic wife Huguette who set about expanding the business. They travelled the country exhibiting at fairs and markets, first in the local area then further afield. Soon they had built sales up to 35,000 bottles.
In 1968, the family moved to the village of Villers-Marmery, where the family-owned house is run today by the father-daughter team of Daniel Henriet and Marie-Noelle Henriet-Rainon (the 4th and 5th generations respectively).
Production today is around 80,000 bottles per year, around 40% of which are exported. Although the house is registered with the Champagne Interprofessional Committee (CIVC) under the official designation ‘Recoltant Manipulant’, the term ‘Proprietaire-Recoltant’ features prominently on their label, to emphasise that they manage their own estate.
In the Champagne region, all 318 villages are rated for quality in the ‘Echelle des Crus’ system, which translates as ‘ladder of growths’. This scale began as a pricing system, whereby the very top of the Echelle des Crus - the Grand Cru villages - got paid 100% of a fixed price for their grapes, and lower tier villages were paid on a sliding scale. Only 17 villages are rated at Grand Cru, and a further 44 are rated Premier Cru, the second highest level.
The grapes for Henriet Bazin champagne come from just three villages: Verzenay and Verzy, both Grand Cru, and Villers-Marmery, which is designated Premier Cru.
Villers-Marmery is one of only four villages in the Montagne de Reims that is rated to grow Chardonnay, rather than the region’s predominant Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay - grown on chalk soil covered by gravel - brings elegance and freshness to Henriet-Bazin champagnes, whilst the Pinot Noir lends structure and body to the blend.
In the winery, the grapes are gently pressed in a 4,000-kg Bucher pneumatic press. This is followed by cold settling, and then vinification in enamel-lined tanks. The wines, including the blancs des blancs, undergo malolactic fermentation.
Reserve wines are matured in a solera-style perpetual blend, started in 1968. After each harvest is complete, some new wine is added to the blend, and every time a new batch of non-vintage Champagne is made reserve wine is drawn off. Over time, the solera cuvee becomes increasingly complex, with the fresh wines of the latest vintage taking on some of the mature qualities of those that came before it.