Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Reserve NV (France)
Producer Notes: A deep golden robe. Delicate vivacious and long-lasting bubbles are the result of more than 36 months of ageing in chalk cellars. With 40% of reserve wines (the maximum possible amount), the blend offers a complex, voluptuous nose with notes of freshly baked brioche and the richness of roasted coffee beans. A precise selection of wines, purposely limited to 60 crus, ensures the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve a deliciously sophisticated harmony. An opulent selection of ripe, sun-drenched fruits such as mango, apricot, and greengage plum combines with dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The texture is reminiscent of a crisp layer of nougatine on a velvety cream pastry filled with plump red plums and ripe cherries. The reserve wines, some dating back ten years give the wine lushness. The depth of the thousand-year-old chalk quarries where the wine matures offer a touch of praline along with notes of amber and vanilla.
James Suckling, 94 Points: Remarkable depth of mature aromas - tons of candied lemon peel, dried pear and brioche - plus wonderful textural richness on the palate make this stand out amongst the regular Brut NVs. Then comes the intense and very long, mineral finish to crown this prince of the category. Based on 2016 base wines, but with 52% reserve wines.
Wine Advocate, 92 Points: Based on the 2017 vintage, complemented by 50% reserve wines (emphasizing Pinot, which was in short supply in the base vintage), Heidsieck's NV Brut Réserve exhibits aromas of sweet citrus fruit, buttery pastry, dried white flowers, bee pollen, crisp orchard fruit and praline. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and seamless, with a pretty core of fruit, lively acids and chalky structure, it's a giving, charming wine that will offer a broad drinking window.
Jeb Dunnuck, 92 Points: The NV Champagne Reserve Brut is sunny with aromas of golden orchard fruits, pineapple, yellow apple, and fresh pastry dough. The palate is matched with ripe peach, buttered orange citrus, and yellow flowers and is rounded, with a silky mouthfeel, although it is fully dry. Classic in style, it is charming and leans towards opulence. Best after 2022.
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