White toast and sourdough opens the show; flowers behind. This hums along with quite a spritzy motor. Long and luxuriant.
Founded in 1851 by Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the original 'Champagne Charlie', the foundation of its modern fame rests on the unrivalled quality of its wines, which receive countless awards and accolades year after year. This success is attributable to the strength and depth of their winemaking team over the past three decades: Daniel Thibault, Régis Camus, Thierry Roset and Cyril Brun have between them been awarded 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge sixteen times. No other house has won more than twice. Cyril Brun took over as Chef de Cave in 2015. The winemaking philosophy is simple, and is evident in the Brut Réserve: grapes are sourced from 60 different ‘crus’ across the region; fermentation and ageing of the base wines takes place primarily in stainless steel to preserve freshness; it is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier, including at least 40% reserve wines, the average age of which is 10 years; and finally, the Brut Réserve is aged in bottle on its lees for at least three years prior to release. These components combine to give a wine that is more 'Premium Cuvée' than 'Brut Réserve'.
The masterpiece from Charles Heidsieck is, however, the Blanc des Millénaires. Only six vintages of this rare cuvée have been produced (1983,1985,1990,1995, 2004 and 2006 the current release). Made of the best Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs (Cramant, Avize, Oger, le-Mesnil-Sur-Oger and Vertus).
The 2006 was a warm year in Champagne, and this Blanc de Millenaires has a creamy richness to it. An elegant Champagne indulging us in earthy white mushroom notes and pure chalky minerality. Thos who previously enjoyed the 1995, will love this younger brother of it.