The Friday Bubble – Review of the New Release Champagne Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2014

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Today on The Friday Bubble with Nick Baker; The new release of Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2014.

Produced only eight times over the past 40 years, Charles Heidsieck’s flagship ‘Blanc de Blancs’ prestige cuvée host outstanding releases in 1983, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2004, 2006, 2007 and now 2014.

The Blanc des Millénaires 2014 is unique in itself as it was crafted over the course of a decade by three talented winemakers. Vinification began under the late Thierry Roset’s watchful eye before his successor Cyril Brun took the reins during blending and bottling. Finally, after ageing in the House’s majestic crayères, current winemaker Elise Losfelt oversaw disgorgement and dosage of the cuvée. The Chardonnay for Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2014 was carefully sourced from four grand crus in the Côte des Blancs (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Oger and Cramant), blended with the premier cru Vertus. Primary fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks before being racked and undergoing malolactic fermentation.

An absolute masterpiece from the Côte des Blancs, this cuvée spent eight years maturing in the heart of Charles Heidsieck’s two-thousand-year-old chalk cellars before being disgorged in July 2023. Such an outstanding creation deserves an exceptional case: the gift box, which mirrors the curves of the crayères cellars after which it is named (Blanc des Millénaires, or ‘White of Millenia’).

2014 was characterised by mild temperatures and frequent rainfall and a few weeks of high temperatures which saved the vintage, a very solid vintage with good ripeness and acidity. Overall 2014 produced a large crop (11,553 kg/ha) which was picked from 8th to 20th September. In general Chardonnay is the star of the vintage. The successful wines come with attractive fruit, lovely vibrant acidity and an overt easiness to them.

Tom Hewson 95/100
“The only Blanc des Millénaires made during Thierry Roset’s brief tenure as cellar master of Charles Heidsieck before his untimely death after the 2014 harvest. The wine was blended by Cyril Brun. It has seen less time on lees than the previous 2007 and 2006 wines – between eight and nine years rather than 12 – but the decision feels apt for this beautifully delicate, bright and serene edition of one of Champagne’s top, if lesser-known, prestige Blanc de Blancs, emphasising purity over creamy richness. There are plenty of ripe aromatics, with fuzzy fragrant apricots, mandarin and even some fresh mango playing with hazelnut and coffee macaron complexity just starting to fire up. There’s a quiet, calm insistence to the palate, more similar to the 2004 than the tension and drama of the 2007 or the generosity of the 2006. It seems set to be one of the vintage’s top performers. Chardonnay from Cramant, Avize, Oger, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger and Vertus, entirely vinified in stainless steel with full malolactic fermentation. Dosage: 9g/L.”

Nick Baker 18.5+/20
TFB Founder 7th March 2024
“The aromatics leap out the glass, you see the core of citrus fruit plus tropical notes, grilled pineapple, guava, tangerine orange and the palate has the broadening effect from 8 years lees ageing and the fruit just expands further on the palate. You feel the Cote des Blancs minerality and bright acidities typical of the year, leaving you a tingle of salinity on the finish. There is real purity here, bright fruit and that lightness of touch of the chalk rich vineyards. This is the 8th release since the first 1983 vintage and there is no doubt this is by far the best. Purity, density, freshness and delightful lightness.”