The wine of the month
Charles Heidsieck, Brut, Reserve, NV
4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP
November 2021: Charles Heidsieck, Brut, Reserve, NV (47 EUR/54 USD in Sweden) white dry blend sparkling wine, Reims, Champagne, France,, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points) (06-11-2021 by Nenad Jelisic)
NJ Wines chose this champagne as the best champagne of the year 2014 and 2015 and now NJ Wines claims that right now this champagne is the world's most priceworthy champagne, and it has been for quite some time. In 2020, NJ Wines chose it as one of the 10 best wines of the year. This says a lot about this wonderful champagne.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. That Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve has such a high quality can be explained by that as much as 40% of reserve wine (the oldest of them 20 years old) is used to it, which is unique to champagne in this price range. As far as I know that it is just Krug Grand Cuvée, which costs three times as much, that uses about the same amount of reserve wine (30 to 50%).
75% of the soils in Champagne are composed of calcareous soil (chalk, marl and limestone). This type of soil provides good drainage and also explains why certain Champagne wines have a distinct mineral taste. Two different chalks occur: Belemnite chalk and Micraster chalk, where Belemnite chalk, which dominates in most of the Grand Cru-villages, has more lime and thanks to it gives the grapes higher acidity. The chalk acts as a natural reservoir (it holds 300-400 liters of water per cubic meter), which gives the vines enough water even in the driest summers. The effort, which is required from the vines to utilize this water, puts the vines at a moderate water stress during the growing season, helps the grapes to achieve the delicate balance between ripeness, acidity and taste. In Reims (Saint-Thierry, Vallée de l'Ardre and Montagne Ouest), chalk rich soils give way to areas that have a greater proportion of marl, clay and sand.
Here we talk about a real complex and sophisticated champagne that should be drunk to all the great celebrations (New Year's Eve, weddings, birthdays, etc.), or when you want to reward yourself and your loved one after a heavy working week or when you just want to enjoy life. Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve has a complex and rich flavour of toasted bread, roasted nuts and ripe fruit (yellow apples and yellow pears). To this rich and complex flavour comes to the fresh tones of citrus, good minerality and a real long aftertaste.
It fits very well as an aperitif or with (a little) tandoori spiced and fried in butter, and with a little champagne in a few seconds cooked, scallops. Obviously that this brilliant champagne also fits perfectly to grilled salmon with white wine sauce and small boiled potatoes or a classic shrimp sandwich. The wine is in perfect condition now and will not win with aging. It should be drunk at 8°C, if possible, in real champagne glasses from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Spiegelau or Riedel.