Charles Heidsieck Cuvee Champagne Charlie
WA96: When Cyril Brun was briefed to recreate this iconic cuvée, he struggled to achieve the plenitude and drama he was looking for. Then, he dug in the Heidsieck archives and discovered, as he tells it, that the famous vintages of Charlie, while vintaged on paper, actually contained reserve wines. Brun therefore gave himself carte blanche to draw on the house's best lots to put together the inaugural NV Champagne Charlie, based on the 2016 vintage but incorporating fully 78% reserve wines dating back two decades. Bursting with aromas of golden orchard fruit, brioche, honeycomb, peaches, spices and buttery pastry, it's full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, with a layered core of fruit, racy acids and a beautifully refined pinpoint mousse. Some 52% of the blend is Chardonnay, with Brun looking for ripe, exotic Chardonnay to complement more tensile lots of Pinot Noir. It's a compelling, flamboyant wine—the only thing that may make consumers smart is the price.