Situated in the Grand cru Pinot Noir village of Aÿ, Henri Giraud is an exquisite champagne house with many stories to tell. Production is 260,000 bottles, making it one of the bigger small producers we have. The oak they use is key, sourced from the nearby Argonne Forest that was used for many years by the region. In taking oak from the forest, Giraud also give back, working to restore and rejuvenate the forest for future generations. The barrels are fashioned by utilising traditional processes and practices that were once used in the region. The Grand Cru Fût de Chêne pictured here is now a multi-vintage blend, similar in style to the approach that Krug use with their famed Grand Cuvée.
The latest MV10 is made up of the 2010 vintage and reserve wines that are aged in a solera. This cuvée spends 12 months in small Argonne oak barrels before being matured on lees for six years in bottle. The bottle is closed with the traditional staple of the region, with the Blanc plated in gold and the rosé in rose gold. The Esprit de Giraud is a Pinot Noir-based cuvée that is the first in Champagne to be certified as having zero pesticide residue in the bottle. The wine was monitored for two years by an independent laboratory that looked for traces of 189 different chemicals and found none. While you could once refer to Giraud as one of the greatest estates virtually no one had ever heard of, the quality has seen collectors and champagne lovers flock to these wines, and they are now heavily allocated.