Growing grapes in the Europe's northernmost vineyards makes ripening an almost annual challenge. The winemakers must choose the still wines to be blended prior to undergoing secondary fermentation in the bottle. They blend wines which were recently harvested with the house's reserve wines to preserve consistency. Their skill in translating harvests of varying ripeness into a consistent product each year is a skill crucial to the quality of Champagne.
To explain how a highly respected Champagne producer deals with vintage-to-vintage fluctuations and how reserve wines influence quality and complexity, we have asked Jonathan Boulangeat, of Champagne Charles Heidsieck, to act as our guide.
The nonvintage Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is an ideal example of how the proportion of reserve wines (the region's highest at 40%) creates a wine of depth and complexity. This wine also demonstrates the advantages of multiple vintages and vineyard sources in the blend.
First we will serve the current nonvintage Brut Rosé, then the nonvintage Brut will be compared with the library release to the 1995 Mise en Cave Brut to demonstrate the ageability of this wine. Then we will finish with three Charles Heidsieck vintage wines to demonstrate how the infrequent perfect harvest can be captured in the bottle.
If you are a fan of top quality Champagne, you won't want to miss the Charles Heidsieck Champagne seminar.
- Nonvintage Rosé
- Nonvintage Brut
- Nonvintage Brut, Mise en Cave 1995
- 2005 Brut
- 2006 Rosé
- 1995 Blanc des Millenaires 1995