The history of the House is one of legend, yet Charles Heidsieck’s exceptional Champagnes have managed to fly under the radar for years, until a recent increase in global distribution cemented their iconic status, putting them back into the spotlight where they belong.
Their story officially begins in the 1785 when the House was founded, but it takes flight in 1852 when “Champagne Charlie” (a nickname Charles Heidsieck earned during his American travels) sailed to the United States to provide an emerging upper crust clientele with a wine that wooed European courts and nobility. His task was daunting – there wasn’t a Champagne market in the US at that time – so to succeed he would need to both build category and brand. Adding a dash of French glamour to a host of spectacular bottlings, ‘Charlie’ did just that, creating a buzz for Charles Heidsieck Champagnes from regal New York to upstart Louisiana.
But it’s their 21st Century wines that have the world abuzz today. One of the House’s most remarkable characteristics is their equal commitment to both single vintage and non-vintage Champagne bottlings. Incorporating an unusually large volume of vintage reserves into their blends, their non-vintage Champagnes have been adored by critics for decades and seen as the benchmarks in the category. Yet with the bar set so high, their single vintage bottlings somehow manage to over-deliver on value and promise as well.
Most are aged 10 years on their lees before being released (an exceptionally rare aging for Champagnes), resulting in wines often described as “world class.” In particular, the 2004 Blanc de Blancs Millenaires (full details below) was awarded a near perfect 97 point score from three judges in a recent Champagne Panel Tasting.
In today’s collection we highlight two non-vintage and vintage Champagnes each, spanning 16 years of Charles Heidsieck’s portfolio that are tasting beautifully today: