Great New Release from Charles Heidsieck

Last night, Cinnamon treated us to some excellent sushi from the local restaurant Kanpai. We paired our meal with the 2006 Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne, which was just released after 13 years of aging. It was a magical combination for a weeknight treat, and I can’t recommend the wine and the pairing enough.


Usually, I don’t like toasty Champagne with my sushi and lean strongly toward blanc de blancs and even extra brut styles for that pairing. This bottle showed me how well a big, brioche-like Champagne can work with Japanese cuisine. This bottle is composed of 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay from 10 villages—all grand and premier cru. In classic Charles vintage style, it is a big, toasted brioche-style with plenty of drawn butter and round Pinot fruit. 2006 vintage was a warm and even vintage in Champagne with this bottling showing plenty of ripe, broad power. The dosage is low, however, and the finish is dry and has the chalky power to lengthen out the wine. This is a big boy that can dance.

This was a wonderful aperitif with all of its extroverted charm, but it also played well with the food. The toast took a back seat to the minerality underneath in this Champagne. It transformed with the ahi into a much sleeker character, but stayed rich enough with the avocado rolls. It was great throughout the evening, and as it warmed, put on more and more complexity.

Don’t miss this great vintage from Charles Heidsieck.

A toast to you!

-Gary Westby

Gary Westby