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Charles Heidsieck Cuvee Champagne Charlie | Base 2016 NV

Mix 12
£392.00
Mix 6
£394.00
Per Bottle
£398.00
Available Wed 21st Feb Same Day, cost based on mileage from Islington
- Time Left to Order
Next Working Day from £8 Available Thu 22nd Feb
- Time Left to Order
Description & Technical Information
-
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.

To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the Champagne house has revived the much-loved Champagne Charlie bottling. But this time, it is a multi-vintage blend. The first, 2016-based release contains 80 percent reserve wines spanning almost two decades and 20% Aÿ Grand Cru Pinot Noir from the 2016 harvest. The final blend 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir going back down to 1998. Champagne Charlie is now planned to be made every few years. The inaugural release stretches to a mere 3800 bottles and future releases will also come in magnums and jeroboams.

In the late 1970s, then cellarmaster Daniel Thibault worked alongside the Heidsieck family to create Champagne Charlie as a tribute to their ancestor. With a long experience shaping the Charles’ signature wine style, Thibault followed his instinct to undertake what would be one of the most resounding successes in his winemaking career - the creation of the five editions of Champagne Charlie - 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand & Premier Cru
Grape Varieties: 52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir from Aÿ, dating back to 1998
Lees Ageing: 4 years
Base vintage: 2016
Reserve wines: 78% back to 1998
Bottling date: 2017
Disgorged: November 2021
Dosage: 7 g/l
Production: 5,500 Bottles
Drink: Now to 2032

Tasting Note: Based on the 2016 vintage, this wine builds on its magnificent wealth of reserve wines. There is already high expression upon release, a super complex nose with vanilla, burned sugar, caramel and liquorice meeting tangerine, pineapple, dried apricots and honey. The sumptuously sweet character continues on the soothingly mellow palate oozing reserve wine richness. Here, the 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir going back down to 1998 blend harmoniously into something luxuriously textured. Perfectly balanced with its 7g/l dosage. Tasted by Essi Avellan MW
Champagne Charles Heidsieck Overview
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Expert Reviews
100/100
Roger Voss
“The return with a new iteration of this iconic Champagne, first produced in the 1980s, and named after Charles Heidsieck one of the great Champagne promoters of the 19th century, is to be welcomed. The wine itself lives up to the billing of its history, rich in the house style and with just a hint of maturity. This great wine, still full of white fruits, has so many years ahead. The wine is likely to mature gently for a decade at least.”
96/100
Tom Hewson
“52% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir. The return of Charles Heidsieck's true Prestige Cuvée is remarkable not only for the quality of the wine (and perhaps the price), but for the admirable choice of not simply going 'big' in terms of style. The youngest wine is from 2016 (20% Aÿ Pinot Noir), the rest composed of reserves back to 1998. What is striking is the harmony, purity and resolution of flavour here, with fragrant tropical fruits, brightness of starfruit and orange peel and fine apricot tart flavours, all sitting under gentle praline richness. Nothing steps out of line - a real sense of assemblage. Luxurious enough on the palate to enjoy now, but subtly-built for further ageing in bottle, this will be a fascinating cuvée to follow.”
96/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Based on the 2016 vintage, this wine builds on its magnificent wealth of reserve wines. There is already high expression upon release, a super complex nose with vanilla, burned sugar, caramel and liquorice meeting tangerine, pineapple, dried apricots and honey. The sumptuously sweet character continues on the soothingly mellow palate oozing reserve wine richness. Here, the 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir going back down to 1998 blend harmoniously into something luxuriously textured. Perfectly balanced with its 7g/l dosage.”
96/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Based on the 2016 vintage, this wine builds on a magnificent wealth of reserve wines. It already has a high expression on release: a super-complex nose, in which vanilla, burned sugar, caramel and liquorice meet tangerine, pineapple, dried apricots and honey. The sumptuously sweet character continues on the soothingly mellow palate, oozing reserve-wine richness. Here, the 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir (going back to 1998) blend harmoniously into something luxuriously textured. Perfectly balanced with its dosage. No need to wait, even if the new Charlie has the structure to age too. Dosage 7g/l”
96/100
Anne Krebiehl MW
“Fresh, ripe apricot and salted shortbread are immediate on the nose. More air reveals a mouthwatering streak of ripe and juicy greengage, grapefruit zestiness and melted butter. The palate is wonderfully brisk, taut at first but endowed with cooling, depth with hints of chalk and more apricot, accentuated by fine mousse. This is complex, taut, fine and beautifully vertical. It will age beautifully.”
97/100
Stuart Pigott
“What a stunning mature champagne! This marries complex toasty aromas with a vitality that makes it easy to enjoy. Enormous concentration and creaminess, but so clean and straight at the super-long, delicately spicy finish that extends out to the horizon. A cuvee of 20% 2016 vintage pinot noir from Ay, with 80% of mature reserve wines, of which a good third were over 10 years of age.”
96/100
William Kelley
“When Cyril Brun was briefed to recreate this iconic cuvée, he struggled to achieve the plenitude and drama he was looking for. Then, he dug in the Heidsieck archives and discovered, as he tells it, that the famous vintages of Charlie, while vintaged on paper, actually contained reserve wines. Brun therefore gave himself carte blanche to draw on the house's best lots to put together the inaugural NV Champagne Charlie, based on the 2016 vintage but incorporating fully 78% reserve wines dating back two decades. Bursting with aromas of golden orchard fruit, brioche, honeycomb, peaches, spices and buttery pastry, it's full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, with a layered core of fruit, racy acids and a beautifully refined pinpoint mousse. Some 52% of the blend is Chardonnay, with Brun looking for ripe, exotic Chardonnay to complement more tensile lots of Pinot Noir. It's a compelling, flamboyant wine—the only thing that may make consumers smart is the price.”
97/100
Yohan Castaing
“An astonishing bouquet presenting notes of petroleum and flint that mingle with scents of pastry and both dried apricot and apricot jam. Complexity and generosity stand out on the palate, with that exemplary creamy and mellow mouthfeel that aged Champagnes at their best can have, but there is also freshness and an underlying crystalline sensation serving as counterpoint to the fullness of texture that is enhanced by the dosage. The chalk-infused finish is long and subtle, leaving a lingering impression of spices, including vanilla and pepper, as well as dried fruits. Bottled and cellared in 2017. Disgorged: November 2021. Dosage: 7g/L. 80% reserve wines and 20% wines from the 2016 harvest. 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir from Aÿ.”
See All Reviews
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News Articles
  1. Charles Heidsieck Cuvee Champagne Charlie NV

    Charles Heidsieck Cuvee Champagne Charlie NV

    July 1, 2022

    To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the Champagne house has revived the much-loved Champagne Charlie bottling. But this time, it is a multi-vintage blend. The first, 2016-based release contains 80 percent reserve wines spanning almost two decades and 20% Aÿ Grand Cru Pinot Noir from the 2016 harvest. The final blend 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir going back down to 1998. Champagne Charlie is now planned to be made every few years. The inaugural release stretches to a mere 3800 bottles and future releases will also come in magnums and jeroboams.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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