Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ 2006
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Winery & Cellars: Reims - France
Chef de Cave: Cyril Brun - *(since May 2015)
This July I was able to get back to the winery and reboot my practice of alternate years, to catch-up with long-time friend Cyril and work through current releases, next in line and cellar maturing wines. Cyril is always so generous, and on this occasion, I was one of the first to taste something very special that has since been released in September and I will review soon on my website.
This 2006 Blanc des Millénaires has an authentic signature of the what makes ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ such a Champagne icon - this unique wine is definitely the next chapter in this legendary story.
Made only in exceptional years for Chardonnay, this 2006 release is made from grapes grown across 4 Grand Crus in the Côte des Blancs area: Oger for its unctuous nature and structure, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for balance, Avize for minerality, Cramant for complexity; and the Premier Cru Vertus for its freshness and floral notes - with each village contributing around 20% to the cuvée.
As one can imagine - there is a lot of pressure on this wine, with immense shoes to fill, in reference to the iconic 1995. But I can honestly say that this could be the vintage to challenge that cuvée. The 2006 ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ was laid down for secondary fermentation in 2007, and then spent 12 years on lees before it was disgorged in November 2019. Aged in their chalk cellars built in Gallo-Roman times, an extraordinary ageing period, which has given this 100% Chardonnay cuvée incredible complexity and texture. This 6th Edition of the ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ holds the promise of unforgettable moments.
✱ The bouquet has a full chorus of citrus and pastry aromas along with mango, grilled pineapple, vanilla cream and floral notes. All of these plus a basket-full of flavours tirelessly flow onto the silky palate showcasing ripe apricots, quince, dried-peaches, lemon curd, blanched almonds and walnuts. The dynamic mouthfeel is perfectly arranged around a core of natural acidity, that gives focus to the concentrated flavours and incredible depth, revealed by its confident effervescence. With each new sip you discover rockmelon, white peaches, even nougat and a defined mineral seam and citrus zest giving a lift to all this complexity and exceptionally textured cuvée. Though already perfectly balanced, time will bring a quaternary stage that will need to be tasted to be believed.
This 2006 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc des Millénaires’ has 12% Alc./vol. Brut style with a low dosage of 7g/L. Chill gently and serve in a generous curved flute, tulip or aromatic wine glass at 9°- 11°C. *NZ$429.99
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 11/11/22)
Drinking perfectly well this season; plus, will hold its detailed character for another 10 - 12 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with classic oysters & shellfish, grilled whole fish dishes, stuffed crab, langoustine, lobster, Moroccan chicken couscous, also an authentic apple tart with vanilla cream - enjoy.