In May the FINE Champagne Magazine and Tastingbook selected the World’s Best Champagnes for 2015. This year rose’s triumph with the majestic Ruinart ‘Dom Ruinart Rosé’ 2002 claiming the title of the ‘Best Champagne for 2015’.
Me (Björnstierne) and my sommelier college ‘TheWineBurglar’ flew down to Reims and meet up with the team from Champagne Charles Heidsieck, old time favorites. We we’re treated royaly with a grand vertical of their splendid Champagnes. The tasting was held by the humble and enthusiastic Chef de caves Thierry Roset.
2000 Charles Heidsieck ’Millésime’ won the title ‘Best Champagne in the World’ in September 2013 amongst 1000 tasted Champagnes for Fine Champagne Magazine. Charles Heidsieck ’Brut Réserve’ got the title ‘Best non-vintage’ in the same publication 2014. 1995 Charles Heidsieck ’Blanc de Millenaire’ won the International Trophy in DWWA’13 – Decanter World Wine Awards.
2000 Charles Heidsieck ‘Millésime’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €65 | 60PN 40CH | TASTING NOTE Enormously voluptuous and classical. Gorgeously nutty, with creamy Chardonnay character and sunnily replete with orange. Yet another fantastic Heidsieck. BJ 90(92)
1995 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €150 | 100CH | TASTING NOTE Heidsieck’s new cuvée de prestige is a constant winner at blind tastings all over the world. I’m less impressed by the deep yellow drink with its fine but rather miserly classical nose and buttery Chardonnay flavor. So silky-smooth and with such intensive nut toffee! The toastiness is there, but lying swimming in an oily nectar which prevents it from really making its way forward as it does in many other vintages. Pretty mousse and uplifting charm. BJ 95(95)
1990 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires Vinothèque‘ | Reims | Champagne | France | price unknown | 100CH | TASTING NOTE The foremost vintage so far of this acclaimed prestige Champagne. The scent is clear as a bell with Grand Siècle’s beautiful note of sun-dried, newly laundered sheets, along with more than a dash of famous coffee-roasting house. Clean, focused, lemony-fresh, and sporty taste. A Ferrari of the wine world! BJ 95(96)
1985 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires Vinothèque‘ | Reims | Champagne | France | price unknown | 100CH | TASTING NOTE I must admit that I did not expect this from the beginning a bit over-polished ingratiating wine could reach such amazing heights. Absolutely incredibly tasty giving a languorous euphoria-creating need to flood oneself by drinking this wine in big gulps. BJ 97(97)
1985 Charles Heidsieck ‘Millésime Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €200 | 70PN 30CH | TASTING NOTE A trifle more austere perhaps, but instead somewhat more elegant than the normally disgorged wine. Just as delicious. BJ 92(93)
1985 Charles Heidsieck ‘Champagne Charlie Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €250 | 70PN 30CH | TASTING NOTE Actually very different from the usual Charlie! Perhaps a little less complex but here you will find the unexpected super availability as some 85s suddenly shows. It feels like a vanilla scented candy bag in the style of the gorgeous William Deutz with short aftertaste á la Heidsieck. Extremely volatile plenty! Nowadays one of the most perfectly roasted sshoolbookschampagnes the house has made. BJ 98(98)
1983 Charles Heidsieck ‘Champagne Charlie Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €350 | 70PN 30CH | TASTING NOTE What a fantastic bouquet! Super-elegant, flowery undertone of the finest Chardonnay. Those tones, however, must be content to play second fiddle, because the Dom Pérignon-like coffee-roasting house aroma is so extremely pronounced. This is, for sure, a conscious house-style, and one would have to look far and wide to find something stronger than here in the company’s ’83s. The flavor is slightly smoky, lemony-fresh, and peppery in the finish. One of the vintage’s most distinguished Champagnes. BJ 95(96)
1983 Charles Heidsieck ‘Millésime Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €290 | 50PN 50CH | TASTING NOTE Newly disgorged direct from the house’s beautiful cellar collection. Fantastically, smokily toasted, grilled and nutty! The fruitiness is not the very best but the mousse trifles prettily with the tongue and the taste explosion of gunpowder smoke on the tongue is sensational. BJ 93(93)
1983 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €300 | 100CH | TASTING NOTE Newly disgorged direct from the house’s beautiful cellar collection. These Oenothèque wines are truly delightful. What vigour and freshness along with the depth and the tones of maturity that are gradually revealed. Exquisitely delicious! This wine is still rather too light and perhaps a trifle too polished, but wonderfully fine and delicious with its sophisticated style. BJ 94(94)
1981 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €300 | 100CH | TASTING NOTE Straw color, sparklingly lively, characteristic vintage-typical hawthorn nose, and slightly unpolished taste. For the moment, completely wonderful, with a nose of mint toffee, mango, vanilla, sweet butter toffee, and acacia honey. Butterscotchy and elegant, with fine fatness and beautiful freshness. Fantastic development. BJ 93(93)
1981 Charles Heidsieck ‘Champagne Charlie Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €300 | 50PN 50CH | TASTING NOTE The name Champagne Charlie didn’t go down so well in the English-speaking world, so Charles Heidsieck decided to discontinue this lovely Champagne. Juicy, exotic, and well-balanced, with a good grip and long aftertaste of mango. There is still a little more to be won from this sleek wine. Acacia tones skillfully interwoven with deep cellar tones, mineral and toast enchant me at any rate. BJ 96(97)
1979 Charles Heidsieck ‘Champagne Charlie Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €400 | 50PN 5PM 45CH | TASTING NOTE Newly disgorged direct from the house’s beautiful cellar collection. A very youthful twenty-two-year-old that isn’t at all as expressive as its normally disgorged twin. Intensely sparkling, brilliant young color. Vegetal freshness mixed with fishy notes. A lively wine with good structure and a short aftertaste. Only 1,500 bottles are sold under this label. BJ 93(94)
1975 Charles Heidsieck ‘Le Royale Vinothèque’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €500 | 50PN 5PM 45CH | TASTING NOTE Light and fine in colour. Not at all oxidative as so many wines from the 70s are. Slenderly built and yet solid in a slightly chilly way. Apart from the lack of length in the aftertaste that is typical of the house, this is a phenomenal wine. Profoundly, beautifully golden, vivacious, creamy, and yes, almost as sluggish as acacia honey, and yet delightfully elegant and refreshing with a purity and a seductive aroma that carries one’s thoughts to orange blossom. BJ 96(96)