TN: NV Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve Mise en Cave 2008 (France, Champagne)

  • NV Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve Mise en Cave 2008 - France, Champagne (6/7/2012)
    This is a really tasty Champy! For the money and availability…you get a really complex, bright fresh fruit, mineral ladened mouthful of suds!! Has the caramel green apple, lemon squeeze citrus, biscuit yeastiness, and crunchy minerals…hell, at first I even thought this was slightly corked…with a little mustiness…but I actually LIKED it…so I just added it to the complexity!! :wink: LOVE this Champagne!
    Btw…kudos for putting the disgorgement date right on the foil!! (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

I’ve had this a few times, and I agree that it’s a very nice Champagne.


Great note. Does the label on this actually state Mis en Cave 2008 or was this bottle disgorged in 2008?

It only has disgorgement 2008 on the back of the foil…I don’t see Mis en Cave anywhere?

Now I’m back to being confused. [scratch.gif]

I was looking for Mis en Cave also…is this just a standard Millesime instead?

Mis en Cave was discontinued by Charles Heidsieck a few years back with the 2003 based “Mis en Cave 2004” being the last one before the wine simply became Brut Reserve (though it still has a disgorgement date). The “Mis en Cave” mention was discontinued because it confused a lot of people and correlated with a drop in sales (even though the wine was stellar). Essentially Charles Heidsieck has the NV Brut Reserve, NV Rose Reserve, Millesime, Rose Millesime, and Blanc de Millenaires in the range.

Thanks Brad! So, I should just enter this in CT as the NV Brute Reserve? I thought the Mis en Cave correlated to the disgorgement date, so I entered it there.

If it is Mis en Cave…the predominant vintage fruit in it is the previous year from the mec date, right? And…how many years do they typically blend back to in the cuvee?


Yes, it should go in as the NV Brut Reserve (which, again, is the same wine that the Mis en Cave once was). The 08 disgorgements of the Brut Reserve are mostly based on 2004 though some very early 2008 disgorgements can be 2003 based. I would bet that you have the 2004 based wine which would technically make it a “Mis en Cave 2005” - as you mentioned, “Mis en Cave” refers to the year of bottling and this occurs the year after the base vintage harvest for this and most Champagnes. The wine is going to have ~40% reserves that can date back over a decade from the base year. It is a very complex wine, ages well, and in many places is priced ridiculously low for the quality you get. Unfortunately my locale isn’t one of them as this doubled in price a two years ago from $35 to $70.

What is interesting about this wine is how it started and where it is today. When it was renamed and launched as the “Mis en Cave” Brut Reserve in the late 90s, it was a trend setter. They released the 1992, 1993, and 1994 Mis en Cave wines all at the same time to kick off the series and to show how wines all disgorged at the same time, but with different time on the lees would show. Initially no disgorgement date was given and “Mis en Cave” along with the year was shown loud and clear on the bottle. Over time, the disgorgement date was added and the “Mis en Cave” info was relegated to smaller print on the back label, but it was still quite noticeable. Today we only get the disgorgement date.

Don’t get me wrong, the disgorgement date is nice, but not without the more important and informative info about the base vintage which lets you know how old the wine is and what harvest it is based on. Despite what most folks say, non-vintage Champagnes do vary (sometimes quite a lot) as the blend changes from year to year.

It is sad that this wine didn’t succeed as originally intended. It was well priced and very, very good. Unfortunately, it didn’t get a lot of support and the folks who were confused spoke louder than those who liked the info. Some folks didn’t understand “Mis en Cave” and some folks thought it was a vintage wine (which could either lead to sales or deter from a sale depending on the customer). Additionally, the wine was so good for so little that a lot of folks skipped over the vintage wines. The end result was falling sales and the disappearance of the “Mis en Cave” concept.

We are still paying the price for the failure of this wine by a major house. While the smaller guys are giving more and more information and the bigger houses are slowly saying more too, the fear of a “Mis en Cave” failure holds a lot of folks back from giving us more info. Sad, really, but the consumers spoke and they wanted less information. Next time, those who like this type of information need to speak louder.

Charles Heidsieck could have done a lot of things different too and an easy solution for both the confused crowd and the geeks would have been small print on the back of the bottle that didn’t stand out. They could have also positioned the wine better from a marketing standpoint.

Thanks for the note … and other info. If the Kings win, I’ll be popping the “09” version.