Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésimé
TO THE EYE: A magnificent coppery golden robe offers glints of tangerine with a delicate, dynamic effervescence.
ON THE NOSE: The initial nose is an invitation to indulgence with ripe fruit and toasted, smoky notes reminiscent of the wine’s native mineral soil, giving way to a riot of fruity notes of pomegranate, blackthorn, quince and fresh almonds with a touch of blueberry.
ON THE PALATE: The attack is frank with abundant freshness, signature of its noble composition. The mid-palate brings notes of quince, white pepper and vineyard peaches. With a well-balanced tannic structure, the finish is silky.
Peking duck, hare à la royale, gravlax salmon, smoked haddock carpaccio, Livarot and aged Mimolette.
Harmony reigns despite trying weather conditions. The 2012 vintage recalls the phenomenal years of 1990 or 1996 and yet, the year’s harvest was something of a miracle. Nature had us fearing the worst with a series of climate events representing a potential catastrophe for our vineyards. The spring brought violent attacks of mildew, torrential rains, hailstorms and cold snaps during flowering, followed by sunscald and water stress that drove yield down by 30%. But a beautiful, sunny August enabled slow maturing and good concentration in the grapes, resulting in a late harvest. The grapes proved to be of excellent quality: rich in sugar and good acidity.
11 Grands and Premiers Crus – Oger, Vertus, Chouilly, Cuis, Verzy, Aÿ, Ludes, Ambonnay, Tauxières, Avenay, Les Riceys
Blend: 62% Pinot Noir including 9% red wine, 38% Chardonnay
The 2008 rosé will always hold a special place in the Charles Heidsieck range of vintage rosés, with an exceptional longevity that will take it into the second half of the 21st century. The quality is already evident at earlier tastings and yet will ultimately be proof of the adage "Great wines are always good, but the time to open them is another question."
A sublime soft pink robe. The initial nose is saline and mineral, underlined by a hint of toast and smoke. Notes of citrus, pink grapefruit, blood orange and red current gradually follow. A discreet fruitiness with more intense notes will be unveiled with time: Morello cherries, liquorice and black tea. On the palate, an exuberant mouthfeel is prominent with the typical vivacity of the vintage. The finish is long and creamy, with extremely delicate effervescence at the very end. It is paradoxical to find a wine of such great freshness paired with a structure of such restrained power.
The fall was wonderfully fresh and dry in 2008, followed by a rather mild winter, disrupted only by periods of precipitation towards the beginning of spring. In the midst of June, a crucial moment in the flowering, a bitter cold period presented a potential threat to the vines. Worried winegrowers were relieved in mid-September to note the quality of their very best vines. Following a series of unusual years, either in volume or precocity of the harvest, 2008 returned to the Champagne norms. Clement weather during the harvests ensured very healthy, ripe grapes.The 2008 rosé vintage offers a classic expression like that so often presented by the Champagne region. Rainy weather encouraged the grapes to swell without adversely affecting the accumulation of sugars. The return of sunny weather at harvest time yielded grapes with an average potential of 10%. All of which indicates a very high potential for expression and long cellaring.
11 Grands and Premiers Crus - Ay, Ludes, Ambonnay, Tauxières, Avenay, Bouzy, Verzy, et Les Riceys for Pinot Noir. Oger, Cuis, Chouilly, as well as Vertus for Chardonnay
63% Pinot Noir including 9% red wine, 37% Chardonnay
FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN THE HISTORY OF CHARLES HEIDSIECK, the Chef de Caves has decided to disgorge the Vintage Rosé 2006 before the next scheduled vintage rosé: a 2005. An oenological decision explained by the magnificent potential, already achieved by the 2006. Before revealing its full expression, this superb rosé underwent long aging on lees for more than 7 years in the dark calm and constant temperature (50°F) of the House’s chalk cellars. It was then left to rest for 9 months after disgorging to refine its depth and ensure perfect uniformity. A call for patience and serenity: the 2005 could wait a little longer…
A beautiful pale pink hue with amber glints reminiscent of the color of apricots, enhanced by discreet, pearly bubbles and incomparable finesse. Intensely perfumed, the complex nose immediately announces a powerful, structured, great rosé wine. The Pinots Noirs, vinified as still red (8% of the blend) give the wine a particular aroma: that which comes from a simmering pot of bubbling strawberry jam, candied fruit mingled with mild spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, honey and pink praline. A true journey through flavor, the palate revels in the creamy sensation of juicy plums. This wine is characterized by a silky texture reminiscent of fig pie, pine nuts, and sweet pastries. Spicier notes of liquorish and cumin then come into play. The finish is warm and round, marked by notes of blackberry tea, cherries, pink peppercorns and fresh figs.
In 2006, the winter was cold with a heavy snowfall. After a spring punctuated by several violent thunderstorms in May, summer began with scorching heat. Although July achieved record temperatures for the month, it gave way to a very rainy, cold August. This fluctuation of hot and cool periods, with a return to dry and sunny weather in September, was particularly beneficial for the maturation of the grapes and successful harvesting.
The 2006 winegrowing year was similar to that of 2005 with optimal harvests both in terms of quantity and quality. However the grapes proved to be much riper, with a slightly lower acidity level, than in 2005 with an average potential alcohol content of 10.1 g/l as compared with 9.6 g/l in the preceding year. Immediately, the decision to make 2006 a Vintage release year was obvious.
15 crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs were selected from the Champagne appellation to craft this grand vintage. These included Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant and Vertus for the Chardonnays; and Avenay, Louvois, Tauxières, Ambonnay, and Ay for the Pinot Noirs. Red wines from Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzenay, Hautvillers and Les Riceys completed the blend.
63% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 8% Red Wines
Elegant, pearly pink with delicate, joyful effervescence, the 2005 cuvée offers a deep, powerful, and luxurious notes of kirsch, ripe cherries, plum, pomegranate, and cranberry. Rich, radiant and generous, this cornucopia of ripe fruit yields to hints of rich pastries and brioche alongside freshly churned butter. With subtle flavors of candied grapefruit giving way to hints of underbrush, this unbridled and indulgent wine features a power and depth with its full body and long-lasting aromatic persistence.
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% complementary red grape varieties. Composed of a selection of 12 Grands and Premiers Crus including Ay, Ambonnay, Louvois, Tauxières, Ludes, Cumières, Verzy, Villers Marmery, Vertus, Avize, Oger, Trépail, Les Riceys, and La Montagne de Reims. Aged more than 10 years on the lees. To be enjoyed within 12 years.