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A Champagne Tasting, Media Style

Posted by hitnerwine on March 31, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Tasting the Heidsieck Houses

On March 31, 2009, a respectable number of Toronto's distinguished wine journalists (such as it is) gathered together at Veritas Restaurant at 234 King Street East in downtown Toronto. Our purpose? To sample the wares of Heidsieck Champagne houses Piper and Charles, presented under the helpful guidance of International House Communications Sales Director Christian Hothausen.

To be honest, I usually dread these particular kinds of media tastings, which are oftentimes overly atmospherically straight-jacketed for my liking (*how's that for alliteration*). I wish my sommelier-friends from George Brown College were there --- more fun!

Moving on, it goes without saying that this particular Champagne tasting was gastronomically solid. With seven Champagnes to try, one was easily provided with an adequate perspective of both houses' approaches toward making Champagne at various levels of quality.

For my part, my favourite Champagne was definitely the Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires Brut Vintage 1995. With intense exotic fruit (my first impression) giving way to more 'temperate' green apples and Bartlett pears, I became enamored with the wine's overall fragrance, as well as with its floral overtones. Offering structured fruit and a tight finish, all very firm and clean, this was an excellently balanced wine. Stylish and delicious! I only wish I could afford it, as it fetches $174.80.

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