Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne
Fresh and fruity while also rich and full in the mouth, this is a superbly balanced nonvintage selection. It is not quite dry with its apple and citrus fruits both given some softness. Disgorged in 2012, it already has two years bottle age that has rounded out the wine.
Rich and creamy, this harmonious Champagne is expressive, with brioche, crystallized honey, black currant and toasted marshmallow flavors, accented by hints of verbena, baked peach and chopped nut. Vibrant and focused through to the lasting, saline-tinged finish. Drink now through 2022.
A wealth of trademark complexity that makes for an immediately engaging Champagne. Bright little red berries and poached peaches plus flinty reductive notes and baked caramel nut biscuits. Makes a composed and focused impression to start with citrus, strawberry and stone fruit flavors all here; really fluffy foamy texture fills it out and then it rolls through richer savory notes to close.
(made from roughly one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; 11 g/l dosage; disgorged in 2013 after five years on its yeasts): Bright yellow. Potent smoke-tinged orchard and pit fruit aromas are complemented by notes of tarragon, toasted brioche and pungent flowers. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy pear and nectarine flavors and a bracing kick of chalky minerals. This rich yet lively Champagne finishes with very good thrust and length and repeating smokiness. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
The reserve wines in this blend show in its richness and deep bass notes. It’s a complex Champagne that holds its mature flavors with cleanness and clarity, making it as refreshing as spring water. Scents of green apples and toasty lees add to the firm juiciness. For roast scallops.
*One Star* Recommended with caveats relating to its excessive toasty, burnt wheat bread character that precedes the tight, citrusy nose and flavors that well up underneath, this wine gets a big boost from a near perfect mousse of creamy, mid-sized bubbles that carry it nicely across the palate. Its finish is long, appropriately austere in its delivery of minerally fruit and loaded with all but dominant old yeast qualities. It is not for stand-alone sipping but will make a willing mate to savory finger foods.
Based on 2007 vintage and the first new formulation, launched in 2012. 60% of 2007, a third of each variety. 60 crus. Far fewer crus than in the past - the principle difference from the old days. Reserve wines are half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir, 8-10 years old. Kept in big containers. Minimum 36 months in crayères. 11 g/l dosage for all cuvées. Complex nose and very well balanced palate. Seems definitely ready. 17.5/20 points.
It is funny to call this the "new" Charles when it actually has more old wine in it! The first difference between this wine and the old label is that is made from just 60 vineyard sites in Champagne rather than the previous 120. It is still composed of a third each Chardonnay, Meunier, and Pinot Noir and includes 40% reserve wines that average 10 years of age, up from the eight-year average previously. This Charles has more of the depth and power that fans of the Charles have come to love, but also much more freshness and elegance--a coup for a wine that is actually older. This is a great bottle of multi-vintage Champagne for the price and a testament to the blenders' art. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)