The wines of Henriot are classically stylish. The predominance of Chardonnay in the blend is undoubtedly owing to Joseph Henriot’s penchant for the elegant grape, and it is he who has enhanced the quality and built the global renown this house now enjoys. From the wines, expect complexity and richness enveloped by discernable acidity.
81 Rue Coquebert, Reims +33 3 26 89 53 00
With their prevalence of Chardonnay and long lees ageing, the wines of Henriot are creamy with a deep richness, yet they retain a marked acidity.
Henriot Brut Souverain
50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir. This non-vintage cuvee is a blend of 25-50 different crus, with approximately 20% reserve wines. It ages for a minimum of three years and has a dosage under 9g/L.
Henriot Brut Rose
Predominantly Pinot Noir, blended with Chardonnay, Meunier and still red wine, this rose is delicately fruity and fresh. A blend of 15 different crus with 25% reserve wines, the dosage is around 8g/L.
Henriot Blanc de Blancs
100% Chardonnay. Even more than the Henriot Brut, this wine is the embodiment of the house style. It is blended with around 30% of reserve wines and aged for up to five years, even longer than the Brut Souverain. Dosage of less than 10g/L.
Henriot Brut Millesime
Approximately 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir from over 15 different crus. The vintage wines usually age from 5-8 years in the chalk cellars. The dosage is less than 10g/L.
Henriot Rose Brut Millesime
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay blended with a proportion of still red wine. This is a more structured, complex version of the non-vintage, but with the freshness of an aperitif.
Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs
Around 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru villages. This vintage wine was first produced in 1959, when it was called ‘La Premier’. In 1973 the name changed again, and it was known as ‘Baccarat’ until 1981, when it became the Cuvee des Enchanteleurs. The wine has been the same throughout, only the name has varied. Produced in the best years, the wine ages for 8-12 years depending on the vintage. The dosage is less than 8.5g/L.
Mainly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a small amount of Meunier. This is a blend of 25 different crus and has the addition of 20% reserve wines. The blend will vary depending on the vintage in order to maintain consistency. The wine ages for four years in the cellars. Dosage less than 40g/L.
Henriot Cuve 38 Blanc de Blancs
100% Chardonnay, all from Grand Cru villages. This limited edition wine is a Perpetual Reserve cuvee from a single vat begun in 1990, blended from the very best Chardonnay wine in each harvest since then. It is bottled only in individually numbered magnums that mature for a minimum of 5 years in the cellars. The dosage is less than 5g/L.
Residents of Reims since 1640, the Henriot family were originally involved in a brokerage business, dealing mainly in textiles and wine, before gradually starting to purchase vineyard land. Just over a century and a half later in 1794, Nicolas Henriot married Apolline Godinot (the niece of the Abbe Godinot, who was a famous viticultural moderniser in the Champagne region). Together they shared an interest in growing grapes and wine production. Sadly Nicolas died young, but Apolline continued to nurture their mutual passion, developing the vineyards and improving the quality of the wines. In 1808 she founded Veuve Henriot Aine. She was quickly able to establish markets for her wines around Europe, beginning with the Dutch court and expanding to Austria and Holland.
In 1880, Paul Henriot married Marie Marguet, whose dowry included Chardonnay vineyards in the Cote des Blancs. This significant addition to the estate’s holdings made possible the future direction of the house to focus on Chardonnay.
For over 50 years, the Henriot reputation and global standing as a top producer rested on the work of Joseph Henriot, who took over in 1962. Joseph had a great love for Chardonnay and the finesse it affords a champagne, so it is no surprise that this grape became the cornerstone of the Henriot range.
In 1976, Joseph acquired Charles Heidsieck, a house that had been established 100 years earlier by Camille-Charles Heidsieck with the help of Ernest Henriot, Apolline’s grandson. Joseph later sold the house to Remy Cointreau in 1985. In the same year, he took part in a merger with Veuve Clicquot and traded his 125 hectares of vineyards for 11% of stock in Clicquot, becoming the company’s largest minority shareholder and new chairman. Nine years later, he departed from Veuve Clicquot, taking his family house with him, but leaving behind the vineyards. The two houses still share a cellar in Reims.
Since 2004, Joseph’s son, Stanislas Henriot, the seventh generation of the family, has been at the helm. He oversaw the latest expansion of the house, with the purchase of the excellent Chablis producers William Fevre and the domain of Bouchard Pere et Fils in Beaune.
Today Henriot owns 35 hectares of vineyards that account for approximately 25% of their total production. Their estate vineyards are farmed without fertilizers or herbicides, and are scattered throughout Champagne. Holdings can be found in: Mareuil and Ay (a Grand Cru village) in the Vallee de la Marne; in Avennay (Premier Cru) in the Montagne de Reims; and in the Clos l’Abbe in Epernay and Chouilly (Premier Cru), both in the Cote des Blancs. The vines are between 25-30 years old, and have an average rating of 97% on the ‘echelle des crus’ classification.
The grapes they purchase come from growers with whom they have long-term contracts in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant and Vertus for Chardonnay; and Verzy, Verzenay and Val d’Or for Pinot Noir and Meunier.
Chardonnay is the predominant grape (50-60%) in the Henriot wines, all of which enjoy extended ageing, much longer than required by law. The wines mature in chalk ‘crayeres’, quarried over 2000 years ago by the Romans, which remain at a constant temperature of 11˚C with 98% humidity – ideal conditions for the maturation of champagne. Additionally, Henriot believes in the advantage of post-disgorgement ageing. Instead of the standard time of six months practiced by most houses in Champagne, Henriot’s wines rest for a further nine months after disgorgement before being released to the market.