There is a whiff of quinine to the softly yeasty and citrus-inflected nose of mostly green apple and brioche scents. I like the intensity of the middle weight flavors that have an equally firm effervescence, all wrapped in a clean and very dry finish. This is notably drier than the 8 g/L dosage would suggest and while this is not an especially refined Champagne, I like the depth and character.
The new bottling in the market of Henriot “Brut Souverain” is composed of a blend of fifty percent chardonnay, forty-five percent pinot noir and five percent pinot meunier. It spent three years aging sur latte and was finished with a dosage of less than eight grams per liter. The wine offers up a vibrant and precise bouquet of apple, pear, plenty of smokiness, chalky soil tones, fresh-baked bread and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and fairly youthful in structure, with bright acids, lovely focus and grip, a good core, elegant mousse and a long, nascently complex finish. This non-vintage cuvée has a fine record of aging in my cellar and I would not hesitate to tuck this away for a few years and really let it blossom completely. (Drink between 2019-2040)
The standard nonvintage from this producer benefits from its policy of blending in a high percentage of older reserve wines. That gives the wine its richness and smooth, ripe character. Hints of apples are still there along with a good balance between acidity and toastiness. Drink now. (RV)
A touch of vanilla-laced pastry cream sweetness accents this fresh and focused Champagne, with a fine mousse. This is well-balanced by crunchy acidity and flavors of lemon peel, green pear and spring blossom. Drink now through 2022. (AN)
Brut Souverain is almost equal parts chardonnay and pinot noir, with five percent pinot meunier; reserve wines account for 30 percent of the blend, enriching it with bready notes and almond-like touches of maturity. The richness gives it a sweet impression, integrated into the tangy notes of cider and mint, then lasting on chalky savor. This would make a rich aperitif, or a partner to thinly sliced roast veal.
Chardonnay, mostly from Côtes des Blancs, and Pinot Noir, mostly from Montagne de Reims, plus a small amount of Pinot Meunier. 20% reserve wines and a portion of Cuve 38. Three years on lees. Proper stuff, although maybe a bit looser textured than I would expect. 16/20 points. (JR)
The latest release of Henriot's NV Brut Souverain is showing well, wafting from the glass with notions of lemon oil, pastry cream, dried white flowers and fresh walnuts. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and incisive, with brisk acids, good concentration and tension at the core and a bright, tangy and nicely persistent finish. Given the quality and the comparatively modest tariff, I'm tempted to suggest that this represents the sweet spot in Henriot's range. This is lot L1824210218, disgorged in February 2018 with less than eight grams per liter dosage. (WK)
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