Champagne Henri Giraud Hommage au Pinot Noir NV
Champagne Henri Giraud Hommage au Pinot Noir NV “The greatest champagne you've never heard of… This is the way I think Krug SHOULD taste.” – Robert Parker, Jr.
Flavor Profile: Cherries, apricots, red plums, ripe Bosc pear, clove, cardamom, star anise, struck flint, dried cherries, and umeboshi
Time on Lees: 36 months
Dosage: 6 grams per liter
Producer's Quick Thoughts: “We are craftsmen, but we also draw inspiration from ancestral methods to progress to the next stage, that of artistic creation” – Claude Giraud
Score: WS94, JS94,VN93
Why We Love It...
A complete embargo on the use of stainless steel in the fermenting or aging of their wines, the crafting of their own barrels, a portfolio of bubbly that rivals any top-house – there is simply so much to love about Henri Giraud Champagne. Mostly, we love that we’re able to get some! This is top-notch and highly sought-after Champagne that deserves a spot of honor in any sparkling collection.
Rooted in the Grand Cru village of Aÿ, Henri Giraud is the oldest Champagne house still owned by its founding family – going all the way back to 1625! Today, the maison owns ten hectares, mostly planted on chalky limestone soils to pinot noir, with the addition of select grapes purchased from long-time grower partners on some 15 hectares. The sources are almost exclusively Grand Cru – lending a premier fruit pedigree to the house’s top cuvées.
Without the use of stainless steel, and through minimal intervention and low sulfur approach, the team at Henri Giraud aims to reveal the truth of their terroir and chosen grape. In the case of this 100% pinot noir – I would say they achieved their aim rather successfully, to put it mildly.
Look closely and you can see the wine’s texture, with a light golden hue hinting at the wine’s equally impressive richness. The aromas and flavors are complex, spiced, and delightfully fruity – cherries, apricots, red plums, ripe Bosc pear. The spices are delicate, punctuating the fruit core with clove and cardamom, star anise and struck flint. Slightly oxidative notes of dried cherries and umeboshi on the finish add a level of complexity, but all is admirably held fast through a chalky, river rock mineral vein, and a zippy and vibrant acidity. The finish goes on and on… this is power and grace, intensity and elegance at an extremely high level.
Claude Giraud, standing as the 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family, has run the estate since 1990. It was he that pursued the “0% Stainless Steel” route, choosing instead to look to history and build their own barrels from the Argonne Forest like their predecessors. Sebastien Le Golvet, the Cellar Master of the house, actually selects the oak every year, and leads the team in the toasting and barrel fastening. In addition to oak barrels, the house has begun more rigorous experimentation with alternative vessels like terracotta and sandstone to add further layers of nuance and depth.
In a few short decades, the quality and reputation of the estate has risen dramatically. There is little doubt that we are witnessing the creation of a modern day titan of Champagne. I’ll end where I began – with the quote that has been repeated, rephrased, and re-emphasized by Robert Parker, Jr. countless times over the past several years… and a call to action… less than 10 cases are available!
“The greatest champagne you've never heard of… This is the way I think Krug SHOULD taste.” – Robert Parker, Jr.
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Blend: Pinot Noir
Production: 12 cases
Pair it with: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with golden raisins and red pepper coulis
About the Producer
Champagne Henri Giraud, a distinguished champagne house with a storied legacy dating back to 1625, epitomizes the fusion of tradition and innovation in the heart of France's Champagne region. Steeped in history, this family-owned brand has passed down its savoir-faire for 12 generations, crafting exceptional cuvées that embody the unique terroir of Aÿ. Renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to quality, Champagne Henri Giraud artfully balances time-honored techniques with modern winemaking practices, resulting in effervescent masterpieces that tantalize the palate and capture the essence of celebration, making it an enduring symbol of luxury and refinement in the world of champagne.
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