Champagne Henriot Debuts L’Inattendue 2016

L'Inattendue by Henriot

© photo provided

L'Inattendue by Henriot

L'Inattendue by Henriot

© photo provided

Champagne Henriot have created a new cuvée called L’Inattendue, or the unexpected. The move is in line with a trend that sees houses releasing micro cuvées expressing a particular facet of a village, grape or vintage.

The impetus

Gilles de Larouzière Henriot, CEO of Maisons et Domaines Henriot and 8th generation of the family, recalled how he had been struck in 2015 by the “diversity” of base wines: “My great discovery was the tasting of the vins clairs. I was struck by the diversity of the expression. You have the general tone of the vintage but there are crus that really stand out,” he said. It was this experience that gave birth to this new cuvée. “We decided that we would identify the terroirs that stand out, that had specific brightness, and capture it in a tiny cuvée dedicated to this cru.”

The inaugural wine

“In 2016 Avize was stunning and stood out,” Larouzière Henriot said. “Why? Because what you expect from Avize is that Japanese blade, that incisive freshness, but what we have in Avize is not only precision and incisiveness but also power and structure. This is why we decided to keep a part of the wine, bottle it and forget it in the cellar for a few years.” Cellar master Alice Tétienne added that the wine which is made from 100% Chardonnay was made from fruit from four parcels in Avize in the Côte des Blancs. It was disgorged in June 2021 with a dosage of 4g/l.

Future cuvées

Larouzière Henriot emphasised that “even though we are isolating a cru, we are also paying tribute to the diversity of the terroir. Are we going to repeat this cuvée every year? Yes, but it is about capturing that particular expression, of one or two crus that are worth picking out and that we want to capture.” He did not reveal what the house has in store from the following vintages.

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