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The Legendary Champagne Charlie Is Back!

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Charles Heidsieck Celebrates Founder’s Bicentennial With Its Historic Cuvée

Reims, FRANCE —Friday June 17, 2022 – Charles Heidsieck, one of Champagne’s most admired producers, today announced the newest edition of Champagne Charlie, a historic cuvée released to celebrate the bicentennial of Founder, Charles-Camille Heidsieck.

The new edition is the first release in 37 years, and only the sixth release in the history of Champagne Charlie, following 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985. American wine lovers will be the first to taste this legendary cuvée with celebrations starting in New York City, a city where Charles-Camille himself sold thousands of bottles in the 19th Century.

A legendary man, of inspiring vision

In releasing the new Champagne Charlie cuvée, the House is demonstrating a long-term, meaningful investment in the legacy of its Founder, as Managing Director, Stephen Leroux explains:

“We are reconnecting with a tradition. By confirming our decision to make the “Charles spirit” and Charlie’s passion the essence of the House, we are recreating our crown jewel. We will produce only a very limited quantity of bottles for the first issue of this new release, which is, in fact, a rebirth. It will be available only through a very select network of distributors.”

The great art of blending, rendered in champagne

In the late 1970s, then cellarmaster Daniel Thibault worked alongside the Heidsieck family to create Champagne Charlie as a tribute to their ancestor. With a long experience shaping the Charles’ signature wine style, Thibault followed his instinct to tackle what would be one of the most resounding successes in his winemaking career – the creation of the five editions of Champagne Charlie – 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985.

In crafting the new Champagne Charlie, cellarmaster Cyril Brun interpreted the Founder’s spirit.

“For this new edition of Charlie, I took my inspiration from previous editions, tasting each of the past releases to reconnect with the initial creation. My first impression was overwhelming; the freshness and aromatic intensity and silky saline finish could be systematically found in all the wines, as if these qualities transcended the effect of vintage. It was the key.”

He continued: “This renaissance Charlie is a multi-vintage wine. This intentional use of reserve wines is also, for me, a symbol of a greater freedom of creation in this quest for the absolute.”

The new Champagne Charlie cuvée is comprised of nearly eighty-percent reserve wines, with select components aged on lees for up to 25 years. A blend of 52 percent chardonnay and 48 percent pinot noir, the assemblage also includes 20 percent wine from the 2016 vintage, cellared in 2017.

Who was Champagne Charlie?

Born June 17, 1822, Charles-Camille Heidsieck was a gentleman-entrepreneur with a taste for adventure. In 1852 he became the first owner of a champagne House to visit the United States, making the journey four times over ten years.

He reinvented the champagne market in the mid-19th century by converting Americans to his cuvées, earning him legendary status across the Atlantic, and the nickname, “Champagne Charlie”.

A Champagne heir driven by a spirit of conquest and a taste for a challenge, Charles-Camille was very comfortable amongst the daring atmosphere of the 19th century. He was more than a celebrity or a persona: the extremely popular jazz song “Champagne Charlie”, written by George Leybourne and released in 1858, made him a legend, bolstered more recently by several movies and fictionalized biographies.

The authenticity and principles of the man known to the Americans as “Champagne Charlie” have inspired the unique quality of his champagnes, stored in thousand-year-old Crayères, or chalk cellars. Five generations have since succeeded at the helm of the House, championing that early vision of an exceptional quality, unique champagne. 

Where to find it

Champagne Charlie and the Charles Heidsieck portfolio is imported nationally by Folio Fine Wine Partners, and will be available in fine wine outlets from September 2022 for USD $700 per bottle.  As part of the Bicentennial celebrations, Charles Heidsieck will also release a special edition of its Brut Réserve Collector Edition, reimagined by French artist Catherine Gran, and will be available for purchase from August 2022.

For further information, interviews and assets, please contact Rebecca Hopkins via email at [email protected] or cell +1 7075928929.

ABOUT CHAMPAGNE CHARLES HEIDSIECK:

Champagne Charles Heidsieck is one of the most respected Champagne houses, based in Reims, France. Founded in 1851, Champagne Charles Heidsieck is among the few prestige brands carrying the Grandes Marques distinction, and the first producer to bring Champagne to the United States. Five generations have been responsible for the House’s fortune, carrying the initial vision of a champagne of extreme quality. Since 1851, the authenticity and conviction of the man known to the Americans as ‘Champagne Charlie’ have inspired the unique signature of his champagnes matured in the House’s chalk cellars. Charles Heidsieck champagnes offer a unique blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, combined with more than 50 percent of mature Charles Heidsieck reserve wines, and aged for an average of 10 years. Each bottle matures in chalk cellars for more than 3 years, up to 40 years for collector bottles. This maturation time is essential for the development of the aromatic complexity, the silky texture and refined quality, typical of Charles Heidsieck champagnes.

Acclaimed internationally, Champagne Charles Heidsieck has been named Sparkling Winemaker of the Year thirteen times at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) and awarded with numerous Grand Or medals, Best in Show, Trophies and Gold medals during its illustrious history. Its purchase in 2011 by Christofer Descours and the EPI group enabled Charles Heidsieck to quickly bounce back with a new and international ambition. You can connect with Charles Heidsieck online at www.charlesheidsieck.com and via social channels:

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