Most Ratafia Champenois is from a single vintage, but Henri Giraud has been quietly nurturing a solera for 30 years – and they’re now releasing their first bottling. This batch was drawn off in 2015, blended and then aged for six months, submerged in the cool, dark, stillness of the Marne river. It was then transferred to glass demijohns for six months, before a further four years in cask, then bottled. The result is a beautiful liquid. The nose is enticing with almonds, hazelnuts, candied citrus, toast, wild blossom honey and cherry kernels. As soon as it hits your tongue, you are struck by the purity, intensity and silken texture of this remarkable Ratafia. It glides across the palate, slick with pure stone-fruit and citrus. The acidity is mouth-watering, offset by the slightest warming kick of alcohol, well-judged sweetness and slight phenolic grip, building to a long, nutty finish. A mere 16.5%, this is dangerously moreish. Serve chilled, ideally with a generous slab of foie gras, creamy blue cheese, or even just a bowl of salted almonds.
FINE+RARE (May 2021)
|50cl||-||0 Immediate | 268 Marketplace||£125.00|
|3x50cl||-||0 Immediate | 78 Marketplace||£351.00|