Henriot Brut Souverain
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.
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.
(60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay; 8 g/l dosage; L1234411212): Light gold. Lees-accented orchard and citrus fruit aromas are complicated by sweet butter, iodine and smoky minerals. Dry and expansive on the palate, offering lively pear and melon flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of orange pith. Ample but lithe brut, with very good finishing punch and repeating smoke and pear qualities.
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.