Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne
*Top 100 Wines of 2012* It’s rare to find a nonvintage blend with such attractive bottle age; in most the fruitiness dominates. This has a toasty character, with an almond note and a ripe mouthfeel that balances its warm pear and yellow-fruit flavors. This demonstrates a full, rich style.
Rich and smoky, offering fine texture and racy acidity with tightly knit flavors of toasted brioche, lemon meringue pie, roasted hazelnut, fresh ginger and ripe black cherry. This shows lovely length and focus. Disgorged in 2011. Drink now through 2020.
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 8 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 multi-vintage Champagne for the price and a testament to the blenders art. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)