Henri Giraud has always been one of those small(ish) champagne producers who I have heard of but never tasted. It has a very small presence in the
Esprit Rose - 70% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot noir and 8% wood-raised Pinot Noir vinified to be a red wine. An attractive smokey nose packed with strawberry fruit and a touch of rose. The palate is relatively full-bodied with ripe, summer fruit but a crisp acidity really carries the flavour and makes it a great aperitif to serve with canapes.
Code Noir Rose - 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Ay grande cru red wine. Though interesting, this rose is not as appealing as the standard Code Noir Brut. It has pretty, smokey nose but is a bit hollow on the palate. There are some fairly dense red fruits which would even stand up to some red meats.
Fût de Chêne 2000 - Fût de Chêne means oak barrel and this champagne is aged in a Fût de Chêne for a year followed by seven years in bottle before it is released. It is made entirely from grand cru fruit from the 'miracle' 2000 vintage. On the nose, it shows lots of earthy tones including leather and truffle, but there is still a lively tangerine note. The palate is so intense that I don't know where to start! There are lots of marmalade, honey and a hint of sweet spice (cinnamon mainly). There is pronounced tannin which carries the flavour and, again, makes it a great food pairing. I would like to try this with fois gras or chicken liver parfait. It also has a low dosage which aids fruit expression and a long, clean finish.