Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve
Non-Vintage from Champagne, France
A deep golden robe. Delicate vivacious and long-lasting bubbles, are the result of more than 36 months of ageing in chalk cellars. With 40% of reserve wines (the maximum possible amount), the blend offers a complex, voluptuous nose with notes of freshly baked brioche and the richness of roasted coffee beans. A precise selection of wines, purposely limited to 60 crus, ensures the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve a deliciously sophisticated harmony. An opulent selection of ripe, sun-drenched fruits such as mango, apricot and greengage plum combines with dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The texture is reminiscent of a crisp layer of nougatine on a velvety cream pastry filled with plump red plums and ripe cherries. The reserve wines, some dating back ten years give the wine lushness. The depth of the thousand-year old chalk quarries where the wine matures offer a touch of praline along with notes of amber and vanilla.
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."
Wine Enthusiast - "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."
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.