Charles-Camille Heidsieck, also known as, Champagne Charlie, was a gentleman-entrepreneur with a taste for adventure. In 1852 he became the first owner of a champagne House to visit the United States, making the journey four times over ten years. He reinvented the champagne market in the mid-19th century by converting Americans to his cuvées, earning him legendary status across the Atlantic, and the nickname.
Charlie was driven by a spirit of conquest and a taste for a challenge during the daring atmosphere of the 19th century. He was more than a celebrity or a persona: the extremely popular jazz song “Champagne Charlie”, written by George Leybourne in 1858, made him a legend, and more recently by movies and fictionalized biographies.
Five generations have since succeeded Charlie at the helm of the House, championing that early vision of an exceptional quality, and unique champagne. The newest edition of Champagne Charlie is an historic cuvée released to celebrate the bicentennial of Founder, Charles-Camille Heidsieck. It is the first release in 37 years, and only the sixth release in the history of Champagne Charlie, following 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985.
The new Champagne Charlie cuvée is comprised of nearly eighty-percent reserve wines, with select components aged on lees for up to 25 years. A blend of 52 percent chardonnay and 48 percent pinot noir, the assemblage also includes 20 percent wine from the 2016 vintage, cellared in 2017.
In the glass Champagne Charlie is dazzling to the eye with a luminous golden robe. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine and roasted pineapple mingle with notes of pastry, vanilla bean, caramel, and exotic spices. The texture is truly the soul of Charlie, with a paradox of freshness and depth, and a silkiness fitting a more mature wine enhanced with nuanced yet lively bubbles. The finish lingers with hints of candied citrus and passionfruit.
This wine truly lives up to its billing, its history, and its 100-point score!
Tom Markakis - Hospitality Manager & Estate Sommelier