Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve
A big boy with almost fleshy fruit. The flavors push into exotic, tropical richness yet retain spicy citrus-rind highlights. There is nothing clumsy, despite the ripeness; the finish seems to extend almost infinitely and keeps zinging you with surprises-marshmallow, marzipan, cookie dough, etc.
A rich and toasty Champagne, with vivacious acidity backing the flavors of apple pastry and coffee, with just a touch of hard candy or treacle. The texture is delicate and refined, and the wine shows fine length overall. Drink now through 2016. 5,000 cases imported.
(made from roughly one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; 11 g/l dosage; disgorged in 2013 after five years on its yeasts): Bright yellow. Potent smoke-tinged orchard and pit fruit aromas are complemented by notes of tarragon, toasted brioche and pungent flowers. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy pear and nectarine flavors and a bracing kick of chalky minerals. This rich yet lively Champagne finishes with very good thrust and length and repeating smokiness.
This is a prime example of what I call a classic, and completely admirable, "Big House" NV Brut. The nose is yeasty but not too, there is freshness yet a trace of age, there is complexity yet there is still some primary fruit and the round but still vibrant offer excellent depth and fine length plus, and this is the most important part, real finishing character. A more than respectable example that is a really lovely effort in every respect and while it could be aged to moderate benefit, I probably wouldn't do so beyond 3 years or so.