Charles Heidsieck, Brut Millésimé

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Millésimé

Vintage: 2013

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2013CH514B136 x 75Natural CorkAvailable

Charles Heidsieck is one of Champagne's finest Grand Marques. The House was founded in 1851 by Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the original ‘Champagne Charlie’ who inspired George Leybourne’s famous song. Charles Heidsieck’s modern fame rests on the unrivalled quality of their wines, which receive countless awards and accolades year after year. This success can be attributed to the talented winemakers who’ve crafted their champagnes over the past three decades. Between them, Daniel Thibault, Régis Camus, Thierry Roset and Cyril Brun have been awarded ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’ at the International Wine Challenge sixteen times. No other house has won more than twice. The winemaking team is now led by Elise Losfelt, who succeeded Cyril Brun as cellar master in March 2023. All of Charles Heidsieck’s champagnes are carefully aged in their UNESCO recognised ‘Crayères’ chalk cellars beneath Reims. Comprising several kilometres of interconnected galleries, these cathedral-like cellars were dug out by the Romans over 2000 years ago and were purchased by Charles-Camille in 1867.

In 2022, Charles Heidsieck was one of the first Grand Marques, alongside Piper-Heidsieck, to achieve B-Corp Certification, illustrating an ongoing commitment to improving both their social and environmental impact on the planet. The House embraces a simple, quality-focused winemaking philosophy, which is particularly evident in the ‘Brut Réserve’. For this cuvée, grapes are sourced from 60 different ‘crus’ across the region, with fermentation and ageing of the base wines undertaken primarily in stainless steel to preserve freshness. The final blend comprises 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, including 50% reserve wines with an average age of 10 years. The ‘Brut Réserve’ is then aged on its lees, in bottle, for at least three years before release. These elements create an expression that is more ‘Premium Cuvée’ than ‘Brut Réserve’, which accounts for its success at competitions.

The ‘Rosé Réserve’ is pale in colour and delicately scented on the nose. The four to five per cent of red wine in the blend is sourced exclusively from Les Riceys, in the Côte des Bar, whose Pinot Noirs are full of flavour yet low in tannin. The 2013 ‘Brut Millésimé’ blends 57% Pinot Noir and 43% Chardonnay, sourced from 10 Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. Following a freezing winter and spring, the short-lived summer heat waves of 2013 led to a phenolic maturity that, although late, was much higher than average. The autumn-like conditions at the end of the maturation process postponed harvest until mid-September, creating an expression that stands out for its elegance, freshness, and complexity. Similarly, the 2012 ‘Rosé Millésimé’ is fresh and silky, with toasted and smoky notes of quince, white pepper and peaches that give way to a lovely intensity on the palate, which finishes dry and long.

‘Blanc de Blancs’ Non-Vintage is made exclusively from 15 ‘crus’ of Chardonnay, spanning the Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Côte de Sézanne and Mongueux, blended with 30% reserve wine. Its freshness is balanced by excellent structure, richness and velvety texture, embodying the recognisable Charles style.

Charles Heidsieck’s ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ is a masterpiece. Only seven vintages of this rare Blanc de Blancs cuvée have been produced, 1983,1985,1990,1995, 2004, 2006, and, the current release, 2007. Made from the best Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs (Grand Crus Cramant, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Premier Cru Vertus), this is an intensely elegant and distinctive Blanc de Blancs. 2007 is a fabulous vintage showcasing the saline minerality, exceptional texture and great ageing potential that is the hallmark of any ‘Blanc des Millénaires’, but especially Charles’. Theirs balances bright acidity and citrus character with gentle toasted, smoky notes. Fresh and generous on the palate, the silky, creamy texture follows through to a remarkably complex and persistent finish.

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles-Camille Heidsieck, the House relaunched the legendary Cuvée ‘Champagne Charlie’ in 2022. Paying tribute to the original five releases of ‘Cuvée Charlie’ in 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985, the “new Charlie” is the ultimate expression of Charles Heidsieck’s style. 80% of ‘Champagne Charlie’, Cellared 2017, is a blend of some of the House’s best reserve wines (48% Pinot Noir and 52% Chardonnay going back to 1998), topped up with 2016 Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Aÿ. Notes of grapefruit, pineapple and apricot develop into persistent flavours of pastry and a fresh minerality that beautifully complements the silky, harmonious texture.


This Millésimé 2013 is composed of ten Grand and Premier Crus (Oger, Vertus, Chouilly, Cuis, Verzy, Aÿ, Ludes, Ambonnay, Tauxières and Avenay) each meticulously selected by the Chef de Caves.


The 2013 winter months saw extremely low temperatures which continued into the spring months, although thankfully the vineyards were able to avoid notable frost damage. Temperatures during the summer months were considerably warmer and, although very short lived, led to a higher-than-average phenolic maturity. During the final ripening stages, the conditions were almost autumn like, meaning the harvest was postponed to mid-September - early October which is particularly late when compared to recent Champagne history. Rainfall during the harvest arrived in perfect time to amend the intense maturity of the grapes.


After the first fermentation in stainless steel vats, the wines were racked to separate the lees and then underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity and improve texture. After blending the two varieties, the cuvée was bottled and yeast added for second fermentation. The bottles were cellared and remained ageing on lees for eight years.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Golden in colour, the nose introduces notes of ripe apricot and peach with intense toasted and smoky nuances. The palate develops the ripe fruit characteristics before giving way to a creamy texture, crisp acidity and notes of spiced cinnamon, liquorice and pepper – the hallmark of the House style.

Alcohol (ABV)