Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires Brut 1995
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
A magnificent, luminous golden robe with primose highlights, elaborated exclusively from Chardonnay grapes. A delicate, distinctive bubble, the result of more than 15 years of aging in Gallo-Roman chalk cellars. The rich bouquet offers up aromas of dried and candied fruits such as hazelnuts, almonds and dates. The wine of aesthete, with deep handy notes of beeswax and nougat. The year 1995 finds expression in this wine thanks to the voluptuous, velvety and yet delicate texture so characteristic of the Blanc des Millenaires. Smooth and sensual, the wine reveals its generosity in notes of salty caramel and its mildness in a hint of almond milk, complemented by subtle notes of vanilla and cedar wood. A unique emotion, an impression of eternity, much like the feeling on has when standing in the heart of 2000-year old chalk cellars for which this wine is named.
Australian Wine Companion - "Yes, I marvelled at the continuing availability of this wine in last year’s Top 100, changing to disbelief this year. Yet there aren’t any tricks other than the perpetual youth of the wine, not released until 2010. It has a stunningly complex, gloriously rich, almost unctuous, mid-palate, yet steps up a gear with the twist of citrus peel on the finish before the lingering aftertaste takes you back over all that has gone before. If you question the perpetual youth of the wine, try to find the Blanc des Millenairs 1983, released after 30 years’ maturation."
Wine Spectator - "An elegant blanc de blancs, with a finely detailed, creamy mousse. There's a purity to the fruit flavors of poached white peach and orange granita that finds fine integration with accents of toasted brioche, grilled hazelnut and ground cardamom. Aging beautifully, this is rich in flavor yet still vibrant and well-focused through the lacy finish."
Decanter - "So silky-smooth and with such intense nut toffee! The toastiness is there, but it's swimming in an oily nectar which prevents it from really making its way forward as it does in many other vintages. Pretty mousse and uplifting charm. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 1995 Brut Blanc des Millenaires shows just how compelling this often overlooked vintage can be. Layers of lemon, pastry spices, crushed rocks and savory herbs literally jump from the glass in this exquisite, perfumed, beautifully delineated Champagne. The 1995 shows lovely flavor complexity and nuance from its extended time in bottle, yet it also retains plenty of freshness, verve and acidity. This is a great showing from Charles Heidsieck. The 1995 was made before the tenure of the house's current team, headed by CEO Cécile Bonnefond. It will be very interesting to see what develops at this historic property over the coming years."
International Wine Cellar - " Vivid gold. Heady aromas of candied citrus fruits, flowers, truffle, gingerbread and iodine, with an intensely smoky overtone. Deep, pungent and palate-staining, with the orchard and pit fruit flavors reaching every corner of the palate and showing impressive power without any excess weight. Even more extroverted than last year's release, finishing with excellent cling and lingering smokiness."
Wine & Spirits - "Platinum gold in color this wine is moving toward maturity with hazelnut flavors, touches of fresh almond and Sherried notes. Its scent of dried chamomile adds to the rich warmth. Chardonnay as an elder statesman. "
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Charles Heidsieck Winery
From the very start, the wines of Charles Heidsieck managed to seduce the royal courts of Europe. Today, the House’s wines are awarded the highest accolades by professional juries across the world. The quantity of medals and trophies regularly earned by Charles Heidsieck is simply extraordinary. The winemaking team has been awarded the “Winemaker of the Year” trophy nine times by the UK International Wine Challenge.
Régis Camus joined Charles Heidsieck in 1994 and has been the head winemaker of the House since 2002. This meticulous and passionate professional likes to keep an eye on everything: the state of the vineyards, the selection of the grapes, their pressing and their vinification, cru by cru, in individual vats. His mission is to perpetuate the Charles Heidsieck style, reflecting the richness of the Champagne region. View all Charles Heidsieck Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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