Last week, we hosted a special tasting of five wines from Champagne Charles Heidsieck, guided by Chef de Caves Thierry Roset. I tasted with him in Reims earlier this year in February—Roset possesses a wealth of knowledge and information on Champagne, and our guests were riveted as he led them through his wines.

First up was the Brut Reserve, with its lovely brioche nose and dried fruit notes. One of my favorite rosés was next, the Rosé Reserve, with its aromas of warm fresh strawberry jam leaping from the glass, along with sweet cinnamon notes. The Brut Milleseme 2000 is redolent with floral and spice notes leading to red berry fruits on the palate, and was quite lovely.

It is always a pleasure to try the Blanc de Millenaires 1995—100-percent Chardonnay—which has hints of both fresh and dried fig, hazelnuts, and a lingering finish. Tonight it tasted very special, especially in the context of other wines from the House.

The grand finale for the evening was Champagne Charlie 1982, poured from magnum. The wine has transformed to one of golden hues and complex dried fruit flavors, with a lovely notes of French pastries, nuts, and sweet spice, with many layers. There’s great length on the palate, with plenty of energy left thanks to its mineral profile and acidity. Old, well-cellared Champagne is an extraordinary pleasure that I hope everyone gets to try at least once.

During my visit to the Charles Heidsieck crayères in February, I selected a bottle of the 1979 from their oenotheque, which I enjoyed over lunch with Thierry and my other hosts. Champagne Charlie 1979 and 1982, along with the 1981, are available on special order from Morrell, if you want to try it for yourself!

-Mark Smith, General Manager, Morrell & Company Wine & Spirits Merchants