The house of Henriot was founded in 1808 by Apolline Henriot, widow of a vigneron and scholar whose family had owned vineyards since 1640. Henriot makes about 55,000 cases of champagne annually, which puts it in the fair-to-middling level; by comparison Taittinger makes 355,000 cases a year and Mumm makes 625,000.

The color of the Henriot Brut Rosé (nv), a blend of 42 percent chardonnay and 58 percent pinot noir, is ethereal pale copper with a glint of pale peach, enlivened by a swirling froth of tiny bubbles. This is a supremely elegant champagne, its aromas of macerated strawberries and raspberries etched with steely minerality. In the mouth, that red fruit takes on the aspect of dried raspberries and dried red currants, buoyed by orange zest and high notes of peach and mango. The texture is notably crisp and lively but cushioned by some creaminess. A tide of limestone teems up from the finish and moves forward into the mid-palate for exhilarating effect. Just a damned lovely drink! Excellent. Prices range from about $55 to $75.

Imported by Henriot Inc., New York.

Received as a sample for review.