Founded in 1851 by the man who would become known as ‘Champagne Charlie’, this family-owned Champagne house is the smallest of the Grandes Marques. Their size and commitment to excellence, has been underpinned by a winemaking team that between them have been named ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’ at the International Wine Challenge 15 times.
With commercially released stocks of the long running Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 1995 finally exhausted, the time had come for a new release to seduce the market with and what better vintage to offer than the stellar 2004. Anyone who tasted the 1995 can attest to its incredible quality and complexity… a wine that was able to convert the staunchest Champagne sceptic.
We will probably never again have something this old for the “current commercially available prestige Cuvee release” (at circa £165 per bottle) but we will no doubt see older archive releases and special recently disgorged oddments trickle onto the market over time. In the meantime, the 2004 is another iconic Champagne release that should find a place in any fine wine lover’s cellar.
The wines were tasted before and during a bespoke lunch with specially selected courses, at the fabulous 1 star Michelin restaurant Trinity near Clapham Common in London.
Charles Heidsieck Brut NV (Current Release in 2018)
Base wine 2010, 40% Reserve wine from 2005 to 1990 (10 year old average) and 60% from 2010.
Very precise, dusty creamy lemon brioche, real reserve wine depth and opulence, concentration and intensity. Plenty of sour dough, saline briney yellow citrus complexity. The mouse is very explosive without being course, expansive yet very creamy and the palate is loaded with delicious nutty almond skin exotism. You just can’t underestimate the influence of the 40 % reserve wines in the blend. It’s signature is super intensity and pin point balance combined with real generosity. This is a fine wine in every sense… and certainly a whole lot of wine for the money!
(Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Charles Heidsieck Rose Brut Reserve NV
Base wine of 75% 2012 vintage and 20% reserve wine of 5 to 6 years age. Includes a blend of red wines made by 2-3 suppliers which are aged in tank.
The nose is fairly youthful and vinous, tense and taut with real chalky minerality and overt stony nuances. Still very fresh and tightly wound, delicate savoury red fruits slowly reveal themselves. Pithy cherry skins, cherry pips and cranberry skins. Not quite as saline and briney as the NV white, this Rose NV shows great energy, fine textural shape and a long subtle mineral pithy length. Give this another 1-2 years to open its shoulders and then drink over 5-8+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Charles Heidsieck Rose Millesime 2005
8% Pinot Noir (50% Les Riceys and 50% Reims)
Dark copper salmon colour, the nose reveals delicious savoury notes of red berry coulis, cherry pith, strawberry pips, and wet chalk. The palate is explosive, dense, super creamy and expansive in the mouth. Plenty of meaty savoury red berry notes, strawberries and cream with a minerally iron-laden, briney finish. Such impressive concentration and profound depth! Wow. A real block buster Rose release indeed.
(Wine Safari Score: 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 2004
100% Chardonnay Cuvee, 5 Crus selected from the Cotes de Blancs, 4 Grand Crus and 1 Premier Cru from Vertus, each representing 20% of the blend. 9 g/l dosage. Laid in the cellar in 2005 and aged for 11 years on its lees with disgorgement in November 2016.
Rich deep straw colour, with the most seductive nose of brioche, savoury marmite and leesy complexity, salted sour dough and burnt sugar and nutty ripe lemon biscuit notes. Very dense, weighty yet fresh, this wine shows massive concentration of lemon crumble, salted pretzel dow, and a real dusty, gravelly minerality on the long, power packed finish. So much pedigree in evidence here and expertly delivered. A profound Champagne. Drink now to 2028+.
(Wine Safari Score: 96+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Some of the lovely food from Trinity.