Thursday, February 14, 2008
Last night I had the pleasure of drinking one of the best champagnes I’ve had in a long time, enjoyed with friends in the splendid crayères of Charles Heidsieck. Champagne, unlike humans, is always the better for not having traveled, and it is rarely possible to encounter a finer example of a given wine than in a house’s oenothéque. Made by legendary chef de cave Daniel Thibault, the 1982 was the last of Heidsieck’s blancs de blancs before the wine was redesigned as Blanc des Millénaires in 1983, and was composed of fruit exclusively from Cramant, Avize, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. This bottle was impeccably fresh and vibrant—my friend Christian, who is the communications director for Heidsieck, noted that it was probably disgorged within the last couple of years. Balancing the rich, voluptuous depth of the vintage with creamy notes of maturity, it showed impeccable balance and grace, with an alluringly silky texture and long, seamlessly fragrant finish. Wines like these remind you that champagne is, indeed, the greatest wine of all.