A look back over the 2012 vintage with Champagne Henriot

Nov 2, 2021 • 3 mins
Brand & Content manager

The launch of the Henriot Champagne House’s 2012 vintage took place at Les Aulnois in Pierry at the end of October. Here, they invited us to explore this vintage through a completely immersive experience…

But, first, let's talk about the wine…
Henriot 2012 is a blend of wines from Premiers and Grands Crus in Henriot’s two historical vineyard areas: the Montagne de Reims, with the Mailly-Champagne, Verzy, Trépail and Avenay Crus, and the Côte des Blancs, with the Chouilly and Avize Crus. Chardonnay represents 54% of the blend and Pinot Noir 46%.

As you may know, Champagne Henriot is famed for its great Champagne terroirs, the importance it places on time in the crafting of its champagnes, and its savoir-faire when it comes to blending the Crus and reserve wines.

Now, let's take a closer look…

To allow us to really understand the vintage, the Champagne House took us on a sensory journey in the dark which was designed to recreate the weather conditions and aromatic context of 2012. Our senses were therefore put to the test! Hearing, sight, taste and smell were all called upon in what was a completely immersive experience.

We explored the 2012 vintage through the three main weather patterns that occurred over the year. During each of these, we were served some appetisers artfully prepared by chef Benjamin Gilles (and they were very, very good!).

First pattern: cold and wet

The first half of 2012 bought us snow, frost, hail and torrential rain. The weather was bad and the atmosphere was on edge. You could hear the sound of rain, hail and wind, one after the other, with their associated images... An appetiser of Normandy oysters with Salicornia was served in this atmosphere, which we can tell you felt distinctly chilly! This set off the ethereal, mineral, saline and iodised quality of this vintage.

Second pattern: extreme heat

We then went from blue to red, as the sun and high temperatures set in over the summer period. The water balance was low and there was widespread scalding on the bunches...the alarm this created was palpable. We could immediately feel the atmosphere warming up, a little too much even!
To accompany this season, the chef had come up with an egg yolk marbled in soy sauce with a pumpkin purée and its juice spiced with Ras-el-Hanout. This pairing revealed the power, generosity and smoothness of the 2012 vintage.

Third pattern: Reconciling the year and its weather

It was 20 September 2012, and nature had everything back under control. Things returned to normal: the temperatures were seasonal, the morning dew brought some much-needed humidity... The conditions were perfect for the grapes to complete their ripening and offer us a good harvest. We were gradually relaxing, ready to tackle what lay ahead.

This reconciliation is reflected in the grapes and in the vintage, which shows real dynamism and a diversity that is full of contrasts, a combination of elegance and character.
The scallop carpaccio, served with an emulsion of smoked Ardennes bacon and a slice of parmesan, highlighted this contrast of power and freshness.


This experience enabled us to fully immerse ourselves in the year 2012 and we do love this kind of immersive event! So why not try creating your own flashback by reproducing these pairings at home?!