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Henri Giraud Hommage Grand Cru NV 75cl
New Stocks. Price £45.00.
Fruit and flowers from the Coteaux of Aÿ - vinified 6 months in stainless steel vats, then matured in little oak barrels.
Unique in the Champagne Region, homage to the family ancestor, François Hémart - Ay 1625
91 points - Robert Parker
91 points - Robert Parker
To the eye, the deep, amber-tinted colour is a mark of its raising process. Fine and generous bubbles form an attractive and constantly renewed bubble trail.
To the nose, elegance and freshness of honeysuckle, yellow fruit and green almonds with a pleasant dash of mint.
To the palate, great elegance, round and delectable, savours of pear with yellow fruit and dried apricots, finishing on orange zest and chocolate. A subtle balance between the smooth meatiness of this wine and the chalky, fresh notes in its finish.
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, harvested exclusively from the vineyards of Aÿ.
Fermented in temperature-regulated vats and raised for six months in small oak casks.
Dosage: 8-10 g/l
The wine is matured in bottle for 3 years and is released to the market only 5 - 6 months after disgorgement.
At 12°C, its power and strong personality opens up a wide gastronomic choice ranging from bass in fennel to pork tenderloin in honey, or duck with citrus fruit and turnip conserve; or serve at 8°C if you are raring to go - slightly chilled in the ice-bucket.
Contemporaries of Henri IV and his descendants, the Hémart family settled permanently in Aÿ at the beginning of the 17th century. Their history took root there and became closely interwoven with the momentous historical events relating to Champagne from the 18th century onwards. At the opening of the 20th century, Léon Giraud married Miss Hémart and reconstructed the magnificent family vineyard, which had been ravaged by phylloxera. Today, Claude Giraud, the 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family, is in charge of the fortunes of the family business.
The Giraud-Hémart family own 20 hectares - 35 parcels of Grand Cru land of which 26 is planted with Pinot Noir and 9 with Chardonnay. Only 17 of the Champagne region’s 323 Crus are classed as Grand Crus (rated 100%). The wine production of Giraud estate is environmentally-friendly, subscribing to the ‘lutte-raisonnée’ (limited intervention grape growing).
The Giraud house is one of the few houses (Krug is another example) that conduct primary fermentations in oak. Henri Giraud pride themselves on sourcing wood for its barrels from the slow growing, tight grained, high quality trees of the ancient forest of Argonne, lying just 35 miles from the estate.