It's a touch surprising to learn the much-lauded Laurent Fresnet, chef de cave of Champagne Henriot, is only now releasing his first prestige blend. The family-owned house (a rarity in this day and age) has been around since 1808, after all, and Fresnet himself has been in place since 2006. But his new Cuvée Hemera 2005 ($200) proves well worth the wait. “After 12 years of aging in the darkness and silence of our cellars,” Fresnet says, “this Champagne bears the finesse and liveliness of spring.” He's referring to the balance of the wine's 50-50 blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, all grand cru, and to the name of the bottling: Hemera is the Greek goddess of daylight, whose portrait appears on the walls of the winery's house. Judging from the wine's full-flavored fruit on the palate and its bright golden-yellow appearance, she's in the glass as well.