• Christian Holthausen, communications director for Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck champagnes

    There are few pleasures as thrilling as drinking a great wine in maturity. On a recent visit to Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck, I tasted a number of wines with chef de cave Régis Camus and communications director Christian Holthausen (pictured), including both vins clairs and finished champagnes. The most satisfying wines of all, though, were several old vintages of Charles Heidsieck, all of them currently in their prime.

    The first was the 1981 Champagne Charlie, drunk as an apéritif before lunch. This bottle was disgorged about ten to 15 years ago, acquiring a seamless harmony and complex richness of flavor in
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