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Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1985

Per Bottle
£5,400.00
Description & Technical Information
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Of the three Champagne houses named Heidsieck - all originating from families once related - Charles is the smallest and arguably, the best. Established in 1851 by the nephew of Piper-Heidsieck's owner, Charles Heidsieck himself was the original 'Champagne Charlie'. In 2011 both Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck were bought by EPI Group headed by Christopher Descours, he has provided significant finance for both Houses allowing them to grow their vineyard holdings, grape purchasing and production. Today, production occurs alongside sister company Piper-Heidsieck in an ultra-modern functional wine-making facility on the southern outskirts of Reims. The Charles Heidsieck Cellars are a Unesco World Heritage site and comprise more than eight kilometres of chalk tunnels interlinking forty seven subterranean cathedrals called Crayères, reaching 30 metres high and believed to have been dug out in the 3rd century.

Collection Crayeres is a series of very exclusive and limited releases of Charles Heidsieck’s prized ‘œnothèque’ wines – older vintages held back in the House’s Gallo-Roman chalk cellars, where time, like a ‘fourth varietal,’ unlocks the full potential of these remarkable wines. Each year, Charles Heidsieck releases a very exclusive selection of these vintage champagnes, and this is the fifth edition of Collection Crayeres.

The House’s prestige cuvée from 1979 to 1985, the ‘Champagne Charlie’ cuvée was named for the House’s enigmatic founder. The origin of the term comes from Charles Heidsieck himself, who earned the moniker when he travelled to America, popularising champagne there with his remarkable champagnes and dazzling character. The magnificent 1985 vintage was the last time the House released a Champagne Charlie.

These rare treasures, Jeroboams of ‘Champagne Charlie’ 1985 from the Charles Heidsieck Crayeres were previously unknown and have never before been released. Charles Heidsieck’s Chef de Caves found these unlabelled and unrecorded jeroboams tucked away in one of Charles Heidsieck’s many crayeres. Thinking these were from the 1983 vintage, the team were amazed to discover that these were jeroboams of Champagne Charlie 1985, and further amazed to discover the outstanding quality of these remarkable bottles.

The limited release of these vinous treasures offers wine lovers and collectors a unique opportunity to experience a legendary cuvée, aged perfectly in Charles Heidsieck’s 2000 year old cellars for more than thirty years.

Weather: The success of 1985 in Champagne was first and foremost due to the perfect health of the grapes (the cold winter helped). Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier displayed high degrees of ripeness, boding well for the birth of a great vintage. The grapes were full of finesse and elegance. All signs pointed to the fact that several years of ageing would result in a stunningly opulent wine.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand & Premier Cru
Grape Varieties: 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir
Lees Ageing: 35 years
Disgorged: February 2021
Drink: Now to 2028
Production: 150 Jeroboams

Tasting Note: A beautiful colour with a mix of rich gold and hints of green. With recent disgorgement you get that hint of smoky charm, then layers of dried fruits start to build up a complex nose, its really alluring as you discover something new with every visit to the glass. There is dried fruit like lemon, orange and lime mixed with toasted hazelnuts. On the palate, brioche and dried apricots shine through with hints of almond and dried figs and a full mid palate from decades of aging on the lees. Amazingly fresh with a fresh slightly saline finish. Classic Champagne Charlie! Nick Baker, TFB Founder, October 2021.
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Overview
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News Articles
  1. Charles Heidsieck: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    Charles Heidsieck: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    April 2, 2019

    "The wines in 2018 were good overall. Some were exceptional... some over-mature." Charles Heidsieck Chef de Cave, Cyril Brun, was slightly more cautious than other winemakers regarding the potential of 2018. We tasted a range of vins clairs and reserve wines with the always engaging winemaker at the cellars in Reims.
  2. David Kermode Discovers Charles Heidsieck's 'Finest Bubbles'

    David Kermode Discovers Charles Heidsieck's 'Finest Bubbles'

    August 5, 2018

    A 'Champagne Charlie' in another life himself, wine journalist David Kermode attended our Charles Heidsieck Dinner and Tasting at Frederick's last week to sample a range of new and old vintages from this reformed house. Read his report for The Buyer here.
  3. Charles Heidsieck Dinner with Stephen Leroux

    Charles Heidsieck Dinner with Stephen Leroux

    August 3, 2018

    This week, Director of Charles Heidsieck Stephen Leroux hosted our Charles Heidsieck Dinner and Tasting at Frederick's, Islington. With an expertly paired champagne/food menu and a rare magnum of Brut Millésime 1983 to taste, it was a night to remember.
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