Champagne Radar

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Champagne Radar

Henriot Cuvee Hemera 2006

50/50 PN/Chd, bottled 2008. A blend of Mailly, Verzy and Verzenay for the Pinot and Chouilly, Avize and Mesnil for the Chardonnay.
Right that's the easy stuff out of the way. Now the tricky bit comes...
I have long been a lover of Henriot (their BdB is stonking and they stock awesome old releases of it!). I specifically adore old Cuvee Enchantaleurs. 1959 in magnum is one of my desert island wines.
Laurent Fresnet, the acclaimed winemaker, joined in 2006 and was tasked with creating a fresher, more "Henriot" styled prestige wine. The '05 Hemera was born under his hands. I first tried that, pre release when I staged a large format Enchantaleurs tasting at Bonhams some years ago. I wasn't too taken by it. So I was hoping for a bit more magic from the '06, given Laurent had a few more hands in it.
So, with the new chef de cave, Alice Tetienne, guiding us through it we opened our bottles...
Very serious buttery nose. Creamy but with enough bite to remind you how serious it is.
Some confected elements, in a good way.
As it develops the first wave of stone fruit creeps in but mingles nicely with warm waffles creating a pleasant balance and spiceyness.
As with so many '06s the finish feels a touch airy and never fully grabs you and although there is a pleasant texture and freshness on the front end it never quite captures you the whole way through.
A few hours in and the pastry note, previously only on the nose, works its way onto the front end but never quite fills out the mid to late.
As I have been doing recently, I left it for a night...
The oxidative note remains core to the story and although the texture and strength on the mid has grown it never truly fills out the mid palate and the back end just feels a touch robbed.
The wine just feels a touch too autumnal and lacks the magic that I always get when I open an old Enchantaleurs. The time scales in the production of Prestige wines mean that I struggle to tie the wines together. Will this become a great Enchant...I mean Hemera? I just don't know. My guess is probably not.
Peter Crawford