When we started working with Charles Heidsieck in 2012, the house was known as Champagne’s best kept secret. New accolades from Tyson Stelzer and Drinks International, plus a glowing reception for the latest release of Blanc des Millénaires 2004 suggest that the secret’s out.
In February, Tyson Stelzer put Charles Heidsieck as number 1 on his list of ‘Champagne’s Top Five Movers & Shakers’ - a list that notes the houses that “most dramatically marked a changing of the guard for Champagne” - adding that the “Brut Réserve NV has no rival besides Krug itself (at three times the price)”.
Charles Heidsieck was ranked third in Drinks International’s 'Most Admired Champagne Brands of 2018’ supplement, chosen by a panel of leading retailers, wine writers, MWs and marketing experts. The house has made the jump from 14th in 2015 to its current position, with Giles Fallowfield commenting that “This past performance doesn’t, however, represent a fair assessment of the wine. It has been consistently one of the finest non-vintage blends…” On the latest release of Charles Heidsieck’s NV Brut Réserve, based on the 2010 vintage, Giles says “it still has 40% reserve wines and shines in a most appealing way.”
The 2004 Blanc des Millénaires has just been launched, taking up the mantle from the 1995 vintage, one of the most garlanded of all Champagnes. An elegant and distinctive Blanc de Blancs, the 2004 has been described by Cellar Master Cyril Brun as “fabulously fresh and already offering the beautiful colour, long finish and silky texture so characteristic of this cuvée, as legendary as the celebrated founder of the House”.
The grapes are grown in vineyards in the five major Crus from the Côte des Blancs, meticulously chosen for their ability to evolve and their ability to express their full richness once fully mature: Oger for its unctuousness and structure, Mesnil-sur-Oger for balance, Avize for its minerality, Cramant for its complexity and Vertus for its freshness and floral notes. The 2004 is the fifth release of this legendary cuvée, and cements Charles Heidsieck’s reputation for producing exceptional, age-worthy Champagne based on 100% Chardonnay.
The new release has been warmly reviewed by the press, receiving 18.5+ points from Jancis Robinson, who described it has having “real bite and class” (jancisrobinson.com), while Michael Edwards admired its “beauty and finesse”, awarding 97 points (decanter.com).
We are watching the ascendancy of Charles Heidsieck with great pleasure, and look forward to seeing what’s next for the house in 2018.