Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne

SKU #1114273 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *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.  (12/ 2012)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Firm and toasty, with hints of vanilla and shredded coconut accenting flavors of creamed apple, toasted hazelnut, lemon meringue pie and black cherry puree. Refined in texture and mouthwatering through to the smoky, mineral-tinged finish. Disgorged 2012. Drink now through 2023.  (10/ 2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (roughly one-third each pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay; laid down in 2008 and disgorged in 2012; L122974 3685): Light gold. Pungent pear and yellow plum aromas, with smoky mineral and citrus zest nuances adding energy. Gently sweet citrus marmalade and pear nectar flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity, picking up a toasty, leesy quality with aeration. Juicy orange and pear flavors linger on the long, vibrant, toasty finish.  (12/ 2013)

90 points 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.  (12/ 2013)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *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.  (12/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (6/ 2014)

K&L Notes

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 multi-vintage Champagne for the price and a testament to the blenders art. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $49.99

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By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/16/2013  | Send Email
From my top 10 Champagnes of 2012: My jaw almost dropped when I learned the story of the new Charles Heidsieck from Cecile Bonnefond, the CEO of both Charles and Piper. Instead of the normal package change / price increase rationalized by currency fluctuation or “increased international demand” this wine had been improved at great cost to the producer before the price went up! The new package contains a selection of half the vineyard sites of the old one, and older reserve wines. The result is non-vintage Champagne that is better than most big house vintage wines and a stronger value now at $49.99 than the old was at $34.99. When we drank this with Jim Pollock at the K&L party at my house it was one of the stars of the night, and reflecting back, of the whole year! This Champagne has depth, combining maturity and freshness, nutty intrigue and minerality!

By: Keith Wollenberg |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 11/16/2012  | Send Email
This is one of those occasions when you have to raise a toast to the champagne house. While the old Charles Heidseck was a solid bubbly, this is a huge step up. And the price increase is justifed by the increase in aged stocks and the higher quality overall. Delicious, rich and concentrated, with a fine mousse. Here's a toast to Champagne Charlie!

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other White Wines

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose. View our bestselling Champagne.
Alcohol Content (%): 12