Henri Giraud "Hommage Francois Hemart" Brut Champagne
Creamy and fresh, with a refined mousse and well-knit flavors of ground anise and graphite, featuring notes of pastry cream, boysenberry pie and lemon curd. A hint of chalky minerality echoes on the subtle finish. Drink now through 2018.
Giraud's NV Brut Grand Cru Hommage Francois Hemart is a stand out. Silky, refined and graceful, the Hommage impresses for its exceptional balance and pure class. All the elements fall into place. Small red berries, mint, flowers supported by layers of distinct Ay chalkiness meld together in this gorgeous Champagne. I have always had a weak spot for the Hommage in this lineup, and it remains one of my go-to Champagnes within its price range. It is also a great introduction to the wines of Claude Giraud and Ay more broadly. The Hommage is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, all done in steel and aged for three years on its lees. The current release is based on the 2008 vintage. This bottle was disgorged on August 11, 2012.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A 70-30 blend of Pinot and Chardonnay from Ay aged in tank and later barrel, Giraud’s NV Brut Hommage a Francois Hemart Disg. 3/2012 is pungently scented with lavender and lemon rind. These – along with piquancy of buckwheat as well as bite and musky after-bite of rose radish – proceed to accent juicy lemon and apple on a substantial yet bright palate. The finish here is tangy, invigorating, penetrating and refreshing, if – like the wine as a whole – a tad rustic in its robustness and attack. It should prove fascinating to follow and to play with at table over at least the next 2-3 years. (DS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light gold. Intense, spice-accented aromas and flavors of poached pear, redcurrant and dried flowers, with subtle vanilla and anise nuances adding complexity. Rich and full but comes off energetic, finishing with good snap and lingering minerality.