The Wine Junkies love drinking Champagne, and we wrote a blog about this heavenly wine some time ago, click here to read that article.
This time we were invited for a Champagne tasting by the renowned house Charles Heidsieck. You can imagine how excited we were 😊
Heidsieck is an established name in Champagne and there are a few brands that go by the name of Heidsieck which can be confusing. There’s Heidsieck & Co Monopole (known for its eye-catching yellow label) and of course Piper-Heidsieck. But we were there for the more exclusive Champagne that carries the name Heidsieck; Charles Heidsieck Champagne.
Charles Heidsieck Champagne is named after its founder and can be considered a legend in the history of Champagne. Charles, nicknames Champagne Charlie, went a long way to promote Champagne in the United States in the 19th century and was even imprisoned during the American Civil War. There’s a book and a movie about the fascinating life of Charles Heidsieck.
The Wine Junkies were invited by their French brand ambassador to get to know their wines better. We tasted five wines of Charles Heidsieck, of which three were vintage.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve
Although this is a non-vintage Champagne, we were pleasantly surprised that the year of bottling was mentioned on the label. Most Champagnes don’t do this, so when the consumer buys a bottle at a shop, he would never know how long the bottle has been sitting there. We know plenty of shops in which the storing conditions are far from optimal and we wouldn’t want to buy a wine there kept for many years in such conditions.
40% of the grapes used are from so-called Reserve wine and have an average age of 10-12 years. It is a blend of 60 crus and the three grapes all have an equal share in it. A very fine Champagne with a fresh and mineral chalky nose. Excellent mouth with good acidity,yeasty and a pleasant finish.
Charles Heidsieck Millesime 2005
This 2005 vintage Champagne is an excellent demonstration of the style of wine produced by the house of Charles Heidsieck – and we love it!
2005 was an excellent wine year in France, and moreover so in Champagne.
The colour is intens gold, a beautiful nose with toast, hints of yeast as well as citrus. Again, we can taste the chalky minerality, but now it comes with nutty flavours and is nice and round with a long aftertaste.
Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve
An unusual light pink rose, almost like a “Gris”, this would certainly attract the attention of the couple dining at the table beside you.
Around 5-6% vinified pinot noir was used for this wine, resulting in an expressive nose of berries, particularly strawberries. Aged over 48 months, this is a full-bodied, round and elegant rose Champagne.
Charles Heidsieck Rose Millesime 2006
Made from predominantly Pinot Noir (over 60%) from 15 crus, the nose is very fragrant and intense and is full of strawberries, raspberries.
It has an elegant bubble and a complexity we very much appreciate. It’s fresh,yet creamy and we also get some hints of blueberry and plum.
Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995
We were delighted to try this very rare Champagne. It was only made in the years ’83, ’85, ’90, ’95 and the latest in 2004.
For this vintage Champagne, 100% chardonnay is used, and only from the 5 best crus from Cote des Blancs. The first thing we smelled is toast or bread and butter.
Despite its age, this wine is still fresh and has hints of oak and nuts making this a fabulous round and buttery Champagne with the characteristic minerality Charles Heidsieck Champagne is so known for.
This is considered the masterpiece of Charles Heidsieck Champagne.
In general, what we really appreciated about the Charles Heidsieck Champagnes is the top quality and the distinguished house style. This is not a dime a dozen champagne. When drinking Charles Heidsieck you drink something more exclusive and different than the ordinary Champagne you may find at the usual retail shops everywhere. The information provided on the label and also on the website is very extensive, something other Champagne houses can learn from. The Wine Junkies have joined many others and became a fan of Charles Heidsieck Champagne.
What is your favourite Champagne? Tell us by leaving a comment below.
John & James