Wednesday Wines – Episode 203 – 2014 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires

Heidsieck BdeM

2014 Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires, Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France (RRP is £210.00, from select fine wine merchants from today.  I have found a price of £174.00 from www.thefinestbubble.com.)

Cellar Master: Elise Losfelt

Composition: 100% Chardonnay

Origins: It is made from a selection of five Crus from the Côte des Blancs; Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Oger, Cramant, Vertus

Dosage: 9 g/L

2014 Blanc des Millénaires is only the 8th vintage of this wine released since the inaugural wine in 1983.  Let’s not beat around the bush – is a spectacular Champagne.  To put this wine to the test, I opened my sample bottle and tasted it with four wine trade Titans.  A buyer, a retailer, a journalist and an importer were all struck dumb by this wine.  I told them they were not allowed to spread the word until today – which as I understand it is the release date.

I set the scene for this tasting by opening a magnum of another famous Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru before pouring Blanc de Millénaires to ensure that everyone’s’ palates were in match fit condition to assess our hero wine.  After the cooing and nodding abated regsarding the much-loved magnum, I popped the cork on BdM and poured one of the most colourless Champagnes I can remember.  And then the magic started.

After the sensual creaminess of our ‘apéritif Blanc de Blancs’ it was immediately apparent that ’14 Blanc de Millénaires was cut from very different cloth.  This is a raspingly refreshing wine.  It is so precision-cut you might want to wear gloves.  There is no doubt this unnervingly keen creation is not one for beginners.  And if you feel a tear fighting to set free from a loose duct, just let it go.  This wine is all about emotion and you must be leaden-hearted for it not to move you profoundly with its laser-sighted flavours and extraordinary tension.  Flavour-wise it is incredible how so much direction and decisiveness can emerge from such a seemingly demure wine.  Approaching its tenth birthday, and with eight of these years spent on its lees, it seems like this wine has been chiselled out of a gleamingly white chalk sarcophagus as it sits naked in the glass, and there is so much potential here it takes the breath away.

My intrepid group could not summon the energy to scratch our collective heads.  There was just a collegiate sense of disbelief and then, a couple of minutes later, an exhalation of exultation – a synchronous moan of pure joy that somehow kicked us all back into the moment, granting us permission to acknowledge what had just happened.  Given the experience around the table, we were of one voice – this is a landmark vintage for Heidsieck’s incredible Chardonnay and while it is straight-jacketed, brutally honest, and epically long, there are just enough white florals, tender sablé tones and dramatic citrus zestiness, to signal that this wine will be nothing short of era-defining given time.  19.5+/20 (Drink 2028 – 2045)