Crystal. Krug. Dom. These tend to be the names that get thrown around when talking about the super cuvees by the big names in Champagne. Perhaps once considered a dark horse in this realm, or on the fringe knocking on the door, the sheer consistency and quality of the Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires can no longer be waved away. It’s just been too good for too long to be ignored. And its been in blind tastings where it’s proven its mettle, powering past better-known labels with its purity, persistence and presence.
There are a couple of things here that really hit home. As a Blanc de Blanc, chardonnay from four Grand Cru vineyards and one Premier Cru enjoy their time to shine without any pinot interference. Secondly, with a remarkable 10+ years on lees, it’s had plenty of time to knit tightly together. Citrus fruit freshness. Bready, bakery intros. A driving line of chiseled minerality. A micro-fine bead, creamy texture and lees-layered complexity. It’s all here. It’s worth putting this up against the establishment. Everything needs to be given a shake once in a while. Even Champagne...
“This Blanc de Blancs Champagne is a bright morning gold in colour, with fine-seamed bubbles and rich, expressive and expansive aromas. Beaten cream, pounded hazels, a hint of baking apples, brioche fresh from the oven. But all these notes are drawn with great subtlety, underscoring the fruit quality of the Chardonnay vineyards used in this blend. On the palate, the wine retains all that aromatic grace and amplitude, marrying it to a shapely fruit presence, vibrant though now well-rounded acidity and textural charm, too. A head-turner. Drink 2019-2028.” – Decanter
“The bouquet is beautiful, magnificently complex with a lot of the toastiness of aged chardonnay, smoky minerally nuances and hints of butter, citrus and pear. and in the mouth it is full-bodied, rich and multi-layered, yet also refined and refreshing at the finish. (Four grand cru villages and one premier cru, all Côte des Blancs. Nearly 12 years on lees; 9 grams/litre dosage) 25/7/2018.” – Huon Hooke
“Disgorged in November 2017 after 13 years on the lees, the stunning 2004 Blanc des Millénaires is a worthy successor to the 1995. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of green apple, pear, brioche and fresh pastry that are framed by a lovely smoky, autolytic top note, the wine is full-bodied, ample and concentrated, with ripe acids, superb depth at the core and a textural, vinous quality while remaining very classical in profile. The finish is long and expansive. A blend of Chardonnay from Cramant, Avize, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Vertus, it saw nine grams per liter dosage. This is a terrific blanc de blancs from Charles Heidsieck that has a long and glorious future ahead of it. Sadly, the price of this cuvée has finally caught up with the quality.” – Wine Advocate.
“Grand cru vineyards: Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. Premier cru: Vertus. 100% Chardonnay. 11.5 years’ ageing on lees. Disgorged November 2016. Dosage 9 g/l. Mytik Diam technological cork. Tasted blind. A distinctive floral note on the nose and then very playful. A broad aromatic attack, some delicacy and rather more loosely textured than some.” – Jancis Robinson MW.
“This Blanc de Blancs Champagne is a bright morning gold in colour, with fine-seamed bubbles and rich, expressive and expansive aromas. Beaten cream, pounded hazels, a hint of baking apples, brioche fresh from the oven. But all these notes are drawn with great subtlety, underscoring the fruit quality of the Chardonnay vineyards used in this blend. On the palate, the wine retains all that aromatic grace and amplitude, marrying it to a shapely fruit presence, vibrant though now well-rounded acidity and textural charm, too. A head-turner. Drink 2019-2028”
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It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
Champagne is not generic sparkling wine, it's a region. There I said it. Get it right people. The reason the French get their lingerie in a twizzle when we call Trilogy 'Champoyne' is the history, the money and the angst that have all gone into making Champagne what it is today: a bureaucratic, strictly controlled, marketing-driven behemoth, that still manages to pump out some of the world's finest and most consistent wines. Adding bubbles to wine was a masterstroke of genius, and makes wine from marginal regions not only palatable, but unique and eminently desirable. But it's the way the grapes are grown, the land they're grown in, and the way the bubbles are generated that makes traditional method sparkling (which all Champagne is) special. There will always be alternatives, but none have the history and marketing power of the luxury Champagne powerhouses. You're not buying wine; you're buying a brand name. And that's ok.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Potato roesti with smoked salmon
- 800g royal blue potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 1/2-1 tsp horseradish cream, or to taste
- 100g spreadable cream cheese
- 1 bunch rocket, leaves torn
- 200g sliced smoked salmon
- 1 tbs finely chopped chives
- Coarsely grate potatoes into a sieve placed over a bowl.
- Season potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Using your hands, squeeze out any excess moisture from grated potatoes.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil when needed, add heaped tablespoonfuls of potato mixture to pan, flattening to form 8cm rounds. Cook roesti for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until crisp and golden.
- Drain roesti on paper towels. Place horseradish cream and cream cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth. Divide roesti among plates. Top with rocket, smoked salmon and a spoonful of cream cheese mixture. Scatter with chives then season to taste. Serve immediately.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...