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|Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé 2005
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|Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé 2005
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Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé 2005 ChampagneOf the three Champagne houses named Heidsieck, all originating from families once related, Charles is the smallest and undoubtedly best, of all of them. Charles Heidsieck himself was the original 'Champagne Charlie', gaining the nickname during his travels around America in the mid-19th Century. Its annual production is reported to be significantly less than 1 million bottles and occurs alongside the larger Piper-Heidsieck in an impressive cuverie on the southern outskirts of Reims.
The Champagnes have a rich history of being served at various infamous events; it was the chosen Champagne of the European royalty in the late 1800s; a photograph from Robert Falcon Scott's fated expedition to Antarctica shows the party drinking Charles Heidsieck at their Christmas dinner; in 1977 the house produced a special vintage for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and in 1981 a 'Royal Wedding Cuvée' was served to celebrate the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
The 2005 vintage was a warm weather year without complications. An early heat wave in June encouraged flowering, followed by moderate rainfall throughout summer and another heat wave in early September. The heat and rain developed berries rich in sugar and with high acidity levels - rendering 2005 an ideal year to blend a vintage.
Golden in colour, the 2005 boasts an expressive nose with hints of hazelnut. On the palate, the acidity is immediately apparent; this is rich, fresh and lively. Given a few minutes, it opens up into delicious lemony flavours, a characteristic we've come to expect from the 2005 vintage.
Grape Varieties: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Dosage: 10.8 g/L
Disgorged: Summer 2014
Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésime 2005 Champagne: same day delivery in London, next day UK mainland & free delivery on 6+ bottles. Charles Heidsieck Overview Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
“This seems to have been around a long time! Deep gold. Very fine persistent bead. Lots of autolysis and substance on the nose. Real lift on the finish. This tastes like wine, with all its complexity, rather than a constructed champagne. Still quite a bit of grip on the end. Very satisfying indeed.”
“The nose is surprisingly reminiscent of the Bollinger 2005 tasted immediately before. Solid and complex with a wild floral note. Bone dry and with a bit more focus and lift than the Bollinger.”
“Still very young, this holds great potential. Rich, full-bodied and densely structured, it is a wine first, sparkling second. Ripe apple and peach flavors partner with a strongly mineral texture.”
“Layers of lemon, pastry spices, crushed rocks and savory herbs literally jump from the glass in this exquisite, perfumed, beautifully delineated Champagne. The 1995 shows lovely flavor complexity and nuance from its extended time in bottle, yet it also retains plenty of freshness, verve and acidity.”
Charles Heidsieck Overview
When Charles Heidsieck was born in 1822, his uncle, who married into the Piper family was running the Champagne House Piper-Heidsieck. Charles grew up in the vineyards and gained experience at his uncle's business, but his ambitious winemaking philosophy led him to found his own Champagne house in Reims in 1851. He was so proud of his Champagne that he called it after himself and Charles Heidsieck Champagne was born.
A year later, having found success in Europe, Charles took the brave decision to travel over the water to the USA to sell his wares. Here he was one of the first to introduce Champagne successfully to the Country. His vivacious personality gave him notoriety and popularity and he famously became known as 'Champagne Charlie'. An eventful few years were had in America, including being imprisoned in Louisiana on suspicion of being a spy during the Civil War. He was eventually freed by President Lincoln himself and then returned to settle in Champagne.
Unlike his peers Charles viewed himself as a blender and not a grower, he spent most of his money investing in 47 underground chalk cellars dating back to the 11th century instead of land. He began buying grapes from trusted grower families with the expertise going back generations in perfecting the care of their vines. The company now has 60 separate sites to choose from, encompassing a variety of different crus, and some of these plots are cultivated by the fourth or fifth generation of the same family.
Charles Heidsieck is a hand-crafted champagne. The intricacies of its complex make-up have been perfected over the years by one of the most celebrated winemaking teams in Champagne. Between three winemakers they have been awarded Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge, while no other house has won more than twice.
The flagship Cuvée, Brut Réserve, is the house's masterpiece. Many years in the making, the wine is a blend of 60 of the best vineyards, and harvests going back more than 15 years. It is aged in the house's Roman chalk cellars under Reims. They provide an ideal place to age the wine, having a unique combination of constant temperature, high humidity levels, no sound, light or vibration to disturb the wines. The non-vintage Champagne is made with painstaking attention to detail. 60 per cent of the blend is wine vinified that year (using an equal split of the three main Champagne grapes; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and the remaining 40 per cent is a blend of reserve wines - a mixture of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir ranging from between five and 20 years old. There are over 400 to choose from, more than most other Champagne houses. Once the team has decided on the blend, the wine is aged for typically six years on its lees which adds a richness and complexity unrivalled in any other non-vintage Champagne.
Since 2011, the company has been owned by the Descours family - a very positive move, ensuring the company remains family run with a long-term vision for the future. Just recently in early 2015 Cyril Brun took over as cellar master, having been Chef de Cave for many years at Veuve Clicquot.