Henriot has unveiled Les Mémoires, a collection of rare vintage Champagne that features bottles dating as far back as the 1950s. The new series from the family-owned Champagne house features three bottles.
The three bottles that make up the Les Mémoires collection is made up of two prestige cuvées from 1959 and 1981 along with one millésimé from 1971. The Champagnes have been aged for decades in Henriot’s cellars in Reims, France. The rare bottlings were late-disgorged by hand just months ago in the spring of 2021, before they were tasted and individually numbered by cellar master and vineyard director Alice Tétienne.
“Tasting these treasures brings unparalleled emotion and pleasure,” says Henriot CEO and president Gilles de Larouzière. “Through the release of singular vintages, I am happy to share these ‘Mémoires,’ embodying a piece of Champagne’s history.”
Cuvée Des Enchanteleurs 1959 is an equal part blend of the house’s six historical crus that were on the lees for 62 years. This particular year experienced ideal weather conditions, leading to grapes with extraordinary phenolic ripeness and character. On the nose, the sparkling wine offers fresh citrus, while the palate reveals a complex, full-bodied structure and remarkable freshness. The long finish delivers notes of honey, fig and brioche. It is priced at $6,000 per magnum.
“Cuvée des Enchanteleurs 1959 is endowed with eternal youth, characterized by charisma and elegance,” commented Tétienne. “On the palate, it astonishes with its incredible freshness.”
Cuvée des Enchanteleurs 1981 is made from 100 percent grand cru that was aged for 40 years on lees. Defined by challenging weather conditions, this year resulted in a small harvest that yielded scarce but high-quality wines. Priced at $1,000 per bottle, the wine’s nose reveals iodine notes, while the palate is lively yet elegant.
The Millésimé 1971, meanwhile, is a mix of grand and premier crus that was aged for half a century on lees. A very difficult vintage, the year featured a cold winter and a spring frost that destroyed (or delayed) flowering in the majority of Champagne. This wine is priced at $800, and offers aromas of thyme, pine, and stone fruit. It’s complex on the palate and has a persistent finish.
The Henriot Les Mémoires collection is available nationwide in the US and can be purchased at select fine wine retailers.
For more information, head over to Henriot’s official website.