Paying homage to his historic cellars, Charles Heidsieck unveils its greatest treasure to œnophiles through a Collection called “Crayères”. Just like an old tome where every page recounts dazzling quests, an œnothèque of staggering vintages is to be revealed in a  first edition of five incredible cuvées.

Time, like a “fourth varietal”, has crafted the soul of the wines in the Crayères Collection. Extended ageing on lees has unlocked the full potential of their aromas. Each vintage has its own signature, its own generous tone. Rooted in the highest standards and precise construction, all promise to deliver a harmonious combination of  flavours.

Selectively released, whosoever is lucky enough to enjoy these precious jewels can boast of experiencing the dream of travelling through time.

YEAR 1983 IN CHAMPAGNE

1983 bestowed the Champagne region with an abundant harvest, despite a very wet winter and awful spring. During the summer of 1983, it was a relief to see the vines had grown lush with magnificently ripe grapes. The Pinot Noirs were incredibly aromatic and powerful. The Chardonnays stood out for their finesse and surprising body. The wines were extremely high quality, and worthy of long cellaring.

BLEND

55% Pinot Noir - 45% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1984

 

disgorgement

March 1999

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

120

to the eye

A shade of antique gold with amber reflections.

 

ON THE NOSE

Complexe aromas, ranging from Virginia tobacco, leather and cocoa to the intensity of forest undergrowth, with occasional notes of light spices.

 

ON THE PALATE

A robust wine, perfectly mature with a nourish structured around the warmth and texture of velvet. Notes of dried fruits and candied ginger round on the overall complexity.

YEAR 1985 IN CHAMPAGNE

THIS YEAR remains etched into vine growers' memories as an exceptional , ideal harvest in terms of quality, despite record freezing temperatures over winter (-30°C for several days) which irretrievably devastated part of the Champagne region's vines. Fortunately, from July 1st, beautiful weather settled in, ripening grapes to their full potential, especially the Pinot Noirs from Bouzy and Verzy showing indulgent aromas and beautiful character.

BLEND

70% Pinot Noir - 30% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1986

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

300

TO THE EYE

A beautiful coppery pink with mother-of-pearl bubbles.

 

ON THE NOSE

Extremely rich aromas evoking a structured, assertive rosé wine. The high proportion of Pinot Noir contributes notes of summer fruits to the wine: blueberries, blackberries and cherries, developing gradually into the more complex aromas of cinnamon.

 

ON THE PALATE

Generous on the palate, mild and full-bodied. Magnificient notes of coffee. The palate is surprising in its long finish and intense bouquet of red fruits.

YEAR 1982 IN CHAMPAGNE

The results of the 1982 harvest are considered amongst the most exceptional ever witnesses in the history of Champagne. The grapes grew under steady weather conditions. The results were irreprochable and the harvest abundant! The grapes, all varieties included, were in excellent condition and stood our for their finesse, balance and grandeur, hallmarks of a great year in Champagne.

BLEND

53% Pinot Noir - 47% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1983

 

DISGORGEMENT

September 1998 - March 1999

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

240

TO THE EYE

An intense, luminous and deep gold. Very delicate and tiny bubbles.

 

ON THE NOSE

As in all "Charlie" cuvées, freshness remains very present even when gently matured: some oral notes, revealing the distinct perfume of dried roses, orange blossom and caramel. Subtle earthy aromas of mushrooms, tobacoo and mocha, balanced by hints of baked fruits, liquorice and cinnamon, turning to dried ginger. 

 

ON THE PALATE

Once more, you hardly believe the wine is 30 years + old: the sensation of freshness and gentle acidity is still very obvious. The texture is very silky and creamy, a blend of toasted bread and dried apricot. An epicurean wine at its peak!

YEAR 1985 IN CHAMPAGNE

The success of 1985 in Champagne was first and foremost due to the perfect health of the grapes (the cold winter helped). Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier displayed high degrees of ripeness, boding well for the birth of a great vintage. The grapes were full of finesse and elegance. All signs pointed to the fact that severak years of ageing would result in a stunningly opulent wine. 

BLEND

45% Pinot Noir - 55% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1986

 

DISGORGEMENT

January 1995

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

300

TO THE EYE

Scintillating and radiant, with a beautiful sustained gold tint.

 

ON THE NOSE

A revealing bouquet of dried flowers, then more powerful aromas of crystallized fruit, toasted hazelnuts and powerful dried apricots combined with nuance of brioche.

 

ON THE PALATE

A remarkably open palate with flavours of almond and hazelnut. The texture of Champagne Charlie 1985 evokes aromas of dried figs. This is a welcoming and balanced wine, revealing bright acidity with balanced freshness that belief the wine's age.

YEAR 1981 IN CHAMPAGNE

1981 is a stunning and extremely rare vintage. Drastic climatic variations over the winter as well as to springtime frosts destroyed 25% of the anticipated harvest. Nevertheless, upon tasting the grapes, particularly the Chardonnay in the white Grand crus, the were found to be of excellent quality. The Pinot Noirs married acidity and generosity. In all, they indicated intensely aromatic wines with a very promising cellaring potential.

BLEND

52% Pinot Noir - 48% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1982

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

90

TO THE EYE

A pronounced gilded golden Champagne, reminiscent of molten gold and delicately effervescent.

 

ON THE NOSE

Mature fruit dominate at first: cookd apricots and candied oranges. The savours of dried fruit also bring visions of oriental markets: dates, figs, dried hazelnuts and peanuts.

 

ON THE PALATE

Indulgent aromas of caramel and the velvety texture of French toast and slightly toasted tarte tartin. The palate is accentuated with a suave, but never heavy, texture, thanks to good, persistent acidity. A beautifully balanced wine.

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YEAR 1979 IN CHAMPAGNE

A year that proved satisfactory for many winemakers, both in quality and quantity. Following a cold, rainy spring, the return of the sun and warmer temperatures fostered good growth of the vines. The harvest in early October offered up bunches of shimmering golden Chardonnay grapes.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1980

 

DISGORGEMENT

1988

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

60

TO THE EYE

A hue of aged gold with vermilion and slightly copper glints.

 

ON THE NOSE

The nose begins with aromas of hot flint. This is followed by a bouquet of toasted and smoky notes, along with vegetal fragrances that provide a subtle crispness.

 

ON THE PALATE

The generous, full-bodied mouthfeel offers mineral flavours. Full-bodied and dry sensations alternate to provide a surprising tautness.

YEAR 1981 IN CHAMPAGNE

1981 is a stunning vintage, but it is rare as a result of drastic climatic variations over the winter, and springtime frosts that destroyed 25% of the anticipated harvest. Nevertheless, when the grapes were tasted, particularly the Chardonnays in the white Grand Crus, they were found to be of excellent quality.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1982

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

60

TO THE EYE

A brilliant golden hue with glints of green and yellow. The colour of the Blanc de Blancs 1981 belies its age and retains an amazingly youthful appearance.

 

ON THE NOSE

The nose is roasted and caramelised, offering indulgent and complex aromas. Notes of hazelnut and peanut reflect the wine’s incredible maturity.

 

ON THE PALATE

Dense and perfectly balanced, the mouthfeel is generous with an incredible crispness. Tautness and full-bodied sensations jostle for position, demonstrating the lively nature of the 1981 vintage.

YEAR 1982 IN CHAMPAGNE

The results of the 1982 harvest are considered amongst the most exceptional ever witnessed in Champagne. The grapes grew under steady weather conditions, providing an abundant harvest of thehighest quality. The grapes were notable for their finesse, equilibrium and grandeur, hallmarks of a greatyear in Champagne.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1983

 

DISGORGEMENT

1991

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

150

TO THE EYE

 

A beautiful light hue with glints of yellow and green.

 

ON THE NOSE

A bouquet of candied citrus, orange and mandarin. The 1982 vintage has a fruity nose with subtle toasted and smoky notes.

 

ON THE PALATE

The attack is direct. A pleasant, rather taut minerality manifests itself in a sharp edge containing notes of cherry and manzanilla. Toasted and smoky notes round off the essence of the Blanc de Blancs 1982.

YEAR 1983 IN CHAMPAGNE

A productive and fruitful year, despite the late recovery of the vine. The weather in spring was mixed, resulting in flowering towards the end of June. Summer provided a balanced ripening period.The October harvests yielded a large quantity of grapes with good acidity.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1984

 

DISGORGEMENT

1994

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

270

TO THE EYE

A hue of aged gold with amber reflections. Discreetly effervescent.

 

ON THE NOSE

A well-rounded bouquet! Candied citrus mingles with the crispness of fern and undergrowth, alongside toasted notes of peanut and honey.

 

ON THE PALATE

A perfectly balanced and mature wine. It blossoms around the character and texture of velvet. Notes of very ripe fruits, grapefruit zest, candied mandarin and mild spices round off the overallcomplexity.

YEAR 1985 IN CHAMPAGNE

This year is etched into vine growers’ memories as an exceptional ideal harvest in terms of quality, despite record freezing temperatures over winter (-30°C for several days), which irretrievably devastated part of the Champagne region’s vines. Fortunately, beautiful weather from 1 July allowed the grapes toripen to their full potential. The Chardonnays in particular ripened beautifully, becoming refined and elegant.

One can imagine the patience required at the time to allow the wines to reach their full potential.

 

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1986

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

300

TO THE EYE

An intense golden colour.

 

ON THE NOSE

The nose reveals aromas of concentrated, lightly stewed fruits, mixed with notes of peanut and liquorice. Captivatingly complex.

 

ON THE PALATE

A generous and pleasantly dense mouthfeel. A slight touch of greenery provides the wine with an exceptional crispness.

YEAR 1990 IN CHAMPAGNE

This was a superlative year, in terms of both the quantity and the quality produced. The climate was ideal, producing highly promising wines. The Chardonnays developed very quickly and are now fully expressing their personality.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1991

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

330

TO THE EYE

A deep golden yellow colour with slightly copper glints.

 

ON THE NOSE

The distinctive nose immediately reveals an aroma of Bourguignon. Notes of cocoa, caramel and chocolate develop into a bouquet of earthy and truffle fragrances.

 

ON THE PALATE

It is a generous, full-bodied wine, whose intense richness is enhanced by a subtle hint of bitterness. Peanut butter and earthy notes punctuate the excellent finish of this Blanc des Millénaires.

YEAR 1995 IN CHAMPAGNE

A relatively ordinary year in terms of quantity. Initial tasting revealed wines with a generous and radiant style. Maturity was a feature that year, and it is no surprise to find it in this Blanc des Millénaires 1995.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

1996

 

BOTTLES AVAILABLE

150

TO THE EYE

A magnificent, luminous golden colour. An ephemeral effervescence of fine bubbles.

 

ON THE NOSE

Aromas of nuts and dried and candied fruits, such as hazelnuts, almonds and dates. The wine of an aesthete, with deep, heady notes of beeswax and nougat.

 

ON THE PALATE

A voluptuous, creamy and yet very delicate texture. The wine demonstrates its generosity with notes of salted butter caramel, cream, citrus zest, toasted almonds, spices and cedar wood. The finish surprises with its crispness.

YEAR 2004 IN CHAMPAGNE

A very remarkable year, because it was surely the most abundant of the last twenty harvests. The wines are concentrated and very rich, summing up the region perfectly. The beautiful bunches of Chardonnay benefited from a summer with no weather incidents, producing sublime wines.

BLEND

100% Chardonnay

 

CELLARING

2005

 

DISGORGEMENT

2016

TO THE EYE

A shimmering golden colour, and an ephemeral effervescence of fine bubbles.

 

ON THE NOSE

Elegant notes of lemon, apple, salted butter and toasted almonds, along with nuances of crème anglaise.

 

ON THE PALATE

An initial flavour of fresh citrus gives the wine a taut crispness, followed by a gradually increasing strength. The mouthfeel is dynamic and perfectly structured with a long and well-rounded finish. The rich texture is rooted in a vintage still young and taut: the feel of the delicate effervescence reveals a minerality that is still youthful.

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MONDE. MANY NINE DAYS' WONDERS THAT YEAR.

A memorable year in many realms : the first elections at the European Parliament saw the election of its first woman president, Simone Veil. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Ariane Rocket was successfully launched. This year saw the first performances of StarMania, and the release of thefilm Alien. 

And, in the meantime, Charles Heidsieck was preparing a fabulous cuvee.

1979 IN CHAMPAGNE

A year that proved satisfactory for many winemakers, both in quality and quantity. Following a cold, rainy spring, the return ofthe sun and warmer temperatures fostered good growth of the vines. The harvest in early October offered up bunches of shimmeringgolden Chardonnay grapes.

1979 iN BOTTLE

Smoky and Full-bodied

 

TO THE EYE

A warm golden yellow with slight coppery glints

 

ON THE NOSE

Upon opening, toasted and smoked tones, underlined by earthy notes, dominate. Once the wine has been aired, aromas of candiedbergamot and toasted peanuts are released with lighter undertones eminiscent of jasmine and orange blossom.

 

ON THE PALATE

A decisive attack for a wine of this age: minerality is still very present. An unctuous mouthfeel and effervescence offer enchantingsmoothness at mid-palate and finish. Flavours of quince jelly and underbrush (dried morels) resurface at the finish.

THIS WAS OF COURSE THE YEAR THE BERLIN WALL FELL.

The events at Tiananmen Square awakened great hope. Paris celebrated the bicentennial of the French Revolution. The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize. David Dinkens became the very first United States Afro-American to be elected mayor.

The United Nations adopted the definitive version of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Ceausescu was overthown in Romania. The movie Rain Man was released, and France won the Five Nations Rugby Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Charles Heidsieck House bottled an excellent year of Champagne wines in various sized bottles, which would all develop significant, appreciable differences.

1989 IN CHAMPAGNE

Weather in early 1989 presented many contrasts: a mild month of February was followed by deteriorating conditions, with frosts in April affecting a large part of the Champagne region(approximately 7000 hectares). 

Early flowering, nonetheless, saw the first buds appear as early as 25 May. Weather conditions from July through August were normal, which resulted in setting an early date for the harvests. 

Harvest began with the Chardonnays on the 4th of September, followed by the red varietals on 12th September.

Extreme weather conditions at the beginning of the year disrupted the usual growing cycle, leading to a second generation of grapes and extending the harvest through the end of October.

1989 IN BOTTLE

Spiced and Heady

 

TO THE EYE

A deep golden yellow.

 

ON THE NOSE

Upon opening, toasted and spiced notes (saffron, cardamom) dominate. Airing brings out aromas of roasted hazelnut and pine honey. Lighter undertones are reminiscent of liquorice and Tonka beans.

 

ON THE PALATE

Solar accents are present from the start, highlighted by a silky, generous character. Cinnamon and ginger notes emerge upon airing while a discrete effervescence ensures a fresh finish.

1989 IN MAGNUM

Solar et Exotic

 

TO THE EYE

A deep golden yellow.

 

ON THE NOSE

Upon opening, toasted and spiced notes (saffron, ginger) dominate. Airing brings out aromas of baba au rhum, roasted pineapple andliquorice.

 

ON THE PALATE

The wine is less solar with a markedly more vivacious attack and the effervescence is more spirited. The extremely long finish offers a silky smoothness shot through with a verve of freshness.

1989 iN JÉROBOAM

Vicacious and Monumental

 

TO THE EYE

A pale golden yellow.

 

ON THE NOSE

Upon opening, the initial toasty nose is immediately followed by citrus notes (citron, grapefruit, blood orange). When swirled in theglass, hints of candied fruit (kumquat and ginger) offer a crisp freshness. 

 

ON THE PALATE

The attack is decisive, vivacious and a bit sharp: the jeroboam format transcends ageing; time has been partially suspended. The long finish gives an impression of a wine almost too young, lacking subtlety... The effervescence is pervasive and exuberant. The jeroboam is immediately disconcerting in its freshness... at an age of 30 years.

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