New owners, new chef de cave (Thierry Roset), new bottle, new labels, new managing director, new Australian distribution (Robert Oatley Vineyards). Charles Heidsieck is in the process of being re-launched globally and barely a spot of chalk has been left unturned. Charles Heidsieck – formed in 1851 – is famous for having carried a disgorgement date on the label, though it disappeared for a time. It’s a key part of the affection some wine enthusiasts have for the “champagne charlie” brand. The disgorgement date has returned – the bottle I am reviewing states “Laid in chalk cellars in 2008” and then “disgorged in 2012”. A bottling date would be even better but it’s an admirable inclusion to the label. Charles Heidsieck’s Brut Reserve is distinguished by its whopping 40 percent reserve material; this reserve material has an average age of 10 years. Needless to say the result is a rich champagne style.
Rich and sweet-ish but beautifully balanced. Luxurious style of NV champagne. Generous and creamy soft; indeed texture is arguably its key feature. Combines freshness and developed intensity of flavour with aplomb. Apricots, toast, nuts. Sweet biscuit crust. Full bodied and fully aromatic. More about satisfaction than refreshment. An evening style, rather than lunch. Heady.
Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)