Lifestyle

Perfect Pink Fizz for Summer Celebrations


Henriot's Brut Ros? is a triumph of champagne. Absolutely delicious and well priced. Just the ticket for summer imbibing

Sometimes I wonder if all the fuss and expense of champagne is really worth it??nd then I run into a delicious wine like this week's Wine of the Week, the Henriot Brut Ros?? ($55) and realize, yes, it is. It's like discovering the wonders of great champagne all over again.

To many Americans, the house of Henriot may be unfamiliar, even to those who fancy themselves aficionados of fizz. Unlike the giant labels??ike Mo??t, Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Tattinger, et al.??enriot, which was fouded in 1808 in Reims, is a more modest producer and its distribution network more limited. But its wines, when found, are well worth the price.

Too many champagnes, even expensive ones, taste bland and uninteresting to me, but not these beautiful bubbles. They have a real depth of flavor that sets them apart from the crowd. Perhaps it's because it's a privately owned business??lways a help when you are trying to make fine wine??r perhaps it's because Henriot uses only chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, with none of the more prosaic pinot meunier in the blend. That's a formula which is usually only found in prestige cuv??es??ut at four or five times the price.

Or perhaps it's because those grapes come from top-rated vineyards. Whatever the reason, this wine has a wonderfully delicate and polished style, refined and elegant but at the same time possessed of a subtle, rich, yeasty earthiness which becomes more pronounced with the second glass.

So, if you are looking for a stunning ros?? champagne for a special summer event at a price that won't do too much damage to your already bruised bank account, this is the bubbly. And yes, I'll have that second glass, please.

WOW Rating:

When to Drink: Now

Breathing/Decanting: The second glass tastes better than the first.

Food Pairing: Perfect for summer foods??old meats, lobster, and lighter pasta dishes.

Grapes: 58% pinot noir, 42% chardonnay

Appellation: Champagne

Region: Champagne

Country: France

Price: $55

Availability: Good

Web Site: www.champagne-henriot.com

See more wines at nickonwine.com.

Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to Forbes.com, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town Country, the Robb Report, the Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently Artisanal Editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes the Nick Passmore: Wine of the Week column to BusinessWeek.com. He is also a judge at the widely respected annual Critics' Challenge wine competition.

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