Henri Giraud Esprit is an impressive Champagne that offers the richness and grace of Pol Roger but with a fantastic array of flavours. Dark fruits, stone fruits, spice. Henri Giraud Esprit is creamy on the palate, long finishing and so lovely. Drink Henri Giraud Esprit when you’re ready. I have paired Henri Giraud Esprit with natural oysters, it might seem like a cliche, but it is a great match.
Henri Giraud Esprit comprises of 70% Pinot Noir 30% Chardonnay. Temperature regulated fermentation in stainless steel vats for a year. The Henri Giraud Esprit sits on full lees without racking during this time.
Henri Giraud Esprit Wine Notes
Yohan Castaing(at Bordeaux, 04 Nov 2019) Decanter.com
Part of The best non-vintage Champagnes to buy
“Esprit Nature is the perfect entry-level Champagne for lovers of vinous and dense Champagne. With notes of orchard fruits, spices and almonds, it offers its full scope in the mouth with a delicious texture. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, based on 2016 and with 50% reserve wines.”
Claude Giraud is the 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family to preside over the family business and produce Henri Giraud Champagne in Aÿ. The wines are moving towards 100% oak fermented, a practice not commonly used elsewhere in Champagne, the notable exponents being Bollinger (for their vintage Champagnes), Alfred Gratien and Krug. The Henri Giraud Esprit is a great wine and just the entry-level. The wines are more complex and fascinating as you explore the range.
A wine region of France approximately 160km East of Paris. It is also the name of the wines produced from the area. Most famously, it is a sparkling wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle and aging on lees (the dead yeast cells). Although there is the occasional still wine, you can find around particularly Pinot Noir. The fantastically named Bouzy Rouge is one such example. There are very few single vintage, single vineyard, single variety Champagnes. I can only name one – Salon. And it was produced only 47 times between 1900 and 1999. Why? Due to the large area, the region covers and the challenging weather the houses blended wines to produce a consistent and reliable product every year. This is where the growers come in. They relish the chance to show off vintage variation and small plot wines.
These wines are based on one vintage but will contain ‘Reserve Wine’. Reserve wine old stocks that they keep specifically to blend into the Non-Vintage wine. The purpose is to have a consistent and reliable drink every time someone buys their NV. NV Champagne must spend 12 months on lees at a minimum and 15 months in the bottle before releases. Most quality houses age their Champagne for much longer than that to achieve the desired level of Autolysis.
The NV style came to be as a way to use the grapes that weren’t perfectly ripe. Champagne was so marginal of climate that it was unlikely they would get a drinkable wine every. Holding on to that wine and blending it across multiple vintages allowed them to use the grapes and make an agreeable style.
In this case, the producer doesn’t add any dosage (sweetness) to the wine at the final stage of production. Show a wine ‘nude’ is a brave move and often only done in great years where the fruit is perfectly ripe. It is also an indication (not a guarantee though) that the wine will be highly acidic, as often the dosage is used to balance the acid profile.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony; it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too. Adding body, perfume and richness to Champagne it also adds red berry and floral/rose petal notes along with spice and subtle layers.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context, Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fizz, bubby, bubbles. It is a wine with bubbles in it. There are many ways to put the bubbles in, and many styles and flavours you can find. Important to know that you should never buy cheap Sparkling. Champagne is still the quality leader of the world. But great Sparkling can be found in Moscato (sweet), Prosecco, Franciacorta (Italy), Cava (Spain), Australia, New Zealand, Loire Valley and Burgundy Cremant (France).
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