Friday Feature – November 6th, 2009


Yes folks, it’s go time!  Hard to believe it, but the holiday’s are right around the corner.

If you’re anything like me then you like to have great Champagne on hand during this time of year for family gatherings, specials meals at home, or to give as gifts.

Each year I taste lots of Champagne, and try and take notice of the top values around.  After a great deal of thought and a significant amount of haggling, I offer my pick.

I have secured a limited amount of this year’s choice to offer to you at a low price!

So without further ado, let me introduce the Champagne deal of the year!

Have a great weekend,


Henriot is a very historic name in the Champagne region.  The producer was founded in 1808 by Apolline Henriot.  Based in the famed city of Reims, the house for much of its history was more well-known in Europe.  Joseph Henriot,  the great grandson of Apolline brought Henriot into the modern era taking over the house in 1962.  Eventually in 1985 he merged his house with Veuve Clicquot, and became the largest minority shareholder.  Unhappy with his role he left Veuve Clicquot in 1994, taking the house of Henriot with him but not the vineyards.

In recent years Henriot has built up their ownership of vineyards with around 30 hectares. Yet the majority of the fruit for their medium sized house comes from contracts with growers.  One thing that Henriot was able to keep through the merger was their crayères, giant chalk pits carved into the ground that are used to store and age Champagne.  These crayères offer the perfect temperature and humidity for this process.

Henriot produces a trio of non-vintage Champagne, but the clear winner for me is their Blanc Souverain.  This is one of the really outstanding non-vintage Champagnes that I have tried this year, and based on the price, it was really easy for me to make the decision to use this as my Champagne deal of the year!

100% Chardonnay, this cuvée is really the signature of the house.  Their other N.V. spend around three years on their lees, far longer than the 15 months the law requires.  The Blanc Souverain spends an extra year on its lees, typically four years in all.  Also about 40% of the blend is reserve wines, which gives this Champagne much more richness and depth than others in this price category.

This outstanding example of a Blanc de Blancs shows great aromatic complexity with hints at citrus, brioche, and mineral.  Rich on the palate with a creamy mid-palate, spiced pear notes, and a long dry finish.  This just has really great depth for Champagne in its price point.

A perfect Champagne for virtually any occasion.  Have this as a an aperitif, or bring to the dinner table with richer shellfish dishes.

Take advantage of this great deal while it lasts!

Craig Perman
Perman Wine Selections
802 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone 312-666-4417
Fax 312-666-4487

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