A dinner date with Charles
I recently attended a magnificent Charles Heidsieck degustation dinner in Brisbane, Australia, prepared by celebrated chef Jason Peppler and hosted by Australia’s own champagne connoisseur Bernadette O’Shea and Charles Heidsieck’s brand ambassador Andrew Correy.
The champagnes by this house are extraordinary and they are deservedly rated as one of the greatest houses in Champagne. Charles Heidsieck was one of the first wine merchants to take champagne to the United States and he was widely known as “Champagne Charlie”!
On his return to Europe in the mid-1800s the company label was popular with the royal courts of England and Belgium.
In more recent years the house’s reputation for quality grew enormously due to the brilliance of former Chef de Cave Daniel Thibault, with the wines under his guidance reaching an almost mythical status before his tragic passing too soon in 2002.
These champagnes are remarkable, offering a blend of one third of each varietal from a single year (representing 60% of the overall blend), with the remaining 40% made up of reserve wines. Simply, it means that every bottle features many fine vintages and the proof is in its extraordinary aroma and flavours!
The wines age underground at the house premises in Reims in 11th Century chalk cellars for between three to fifteen years, which is key to their finesse. Since 1990, all the non-vintage bottles display the dates both of their cellaring and disgorgement – something for the sharp-eyed connoisseurs!
Some of the world’s greatest palates say that the Brut Réserve is the very best non-vintage champagne. I sincerely love it too!
The beautiful champagne we had the pleasure of drinking on this special night included:
• Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve (non vintage)
• Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve (NV)
• Charles Heidsieck Brut vintage 2000
• Charles Heidsieck Brut vintage 1999
• Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millenaries 1995