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|Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé 1999
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Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé 1999 ChampagneMore vintages: 2006Of 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.
1999 saw healthy vineyard conditions, after a mild winter. A hot July and August helped véraison develop well, and harvest was carried out in September, which remained sunny and mild. Certain parcels performed very well, particularly with Pinot Noir.
Delicate coral hues, with fine, persistent bubbles. Strawberry and raspberry aromas abound along with subtle white pepper, vanilla and sandalwood notes. The palate is infused with strawberry, raspberry and gooseberry, with generous floral notes. The texture recalls the freshness of delicious hibiscus syrup.
Grape Varieties: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Dosage: 11.5 g/L
Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé 1999 Champagne: same day delivery in London, next day UK mainland & free delivery on 6+ bottles. Charles Heidsieck Overview Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
“Superb toasty nose with expressive coffee, cherry, saddle leather and spicy notes. Soft, mellow, plush velvety palate, getting mature but holding on there. Very long and opulent, sweet finish. This is a real serial winner having finished 5th at FINE Champagnes Best Champagnes for 2015 and awarded Gold at the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. One of the best champagne bargains out there. Peaking now at 95 points.”
“Very ripe, intense nose. Lots of complexity. Rewards being served at cellar temperature. Something a little rose petal-like about this but very complex. Ferns and wild strawberries in a wood. ”
“The 1999 Brut Rosé presents an attractive core of sweet pomegranate, candied cherries, sweet spices and flowers in an accessible, medium-bodied style. ”
Wine Enthusiast ,
“Showing signs of toasty maturity. Rosé Champagne does age but it becomes much more like regular (white) Champagne. There are only just hints of red fruits as a reminder of its youthful character. The wine though remains delicious. ”
“Medium pink. Fresh red berry and tangerine aromas offer a delicate personality, with vivid minerality adding verve. A clean, brisk style of rose, offering suave, leesy red berry flavors and gentle grip. Finishes clean and lively, with impressive cut and persistence. I adore this elegant, understated style. ”
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.