1966 Heidsieck & Co. Brut Rosé Dry Monopole


AG will probably kill me if he reads this, so please don’t tell him, but I once wrote something along the lines: “if you want to drink mature Champagne then you might as well pour a prematurely oxidized Meursault into a Sodastream.” Sure, I was being facetious, but I guess it is this kind of sentiment that means I have never covered Champagne in any official capacity. The intellectual part of Champagne never really gets my pulse racing. Those bubbles get in the way, and the marketing schmooze just leaves me cold. I have had more than my fair share of old Champagne however, they often leave me with a desire to drink something young, cheap and razor-sharp instead of something that tastes like a prematurely oxidized Meur...no, better not. Seriously, every now and then I encounter a bottle that demonstrates the stupidity of my apathy towards Champagne.

Step forward the 1966 Brut Rosé Dry Monopole from Heidsieck & Co. From the very first whiff I was intoxicated. It easily constitutes one of the finest aged rosés that I have ever encountered. Burnished amber in colour with a very light pétillance, the 1966 offers captivating scents of orange rind, marmalade, marzipan and oyster shells, all crystalline and as fresh as a daisy after more than half a century. The palate is cut from a similar cloth: exquisite balance, a fine bead of acidity, impressive weight with notes of Turkish Delight, Satsuma and dried quince. There is so much energy that your mouth is almost shocked into submission. Each sip seems to be better than the last. It is the kind of Champagne you want to elope with. The tension remains in situ throughout two or three hours and never loses one iota of its energy. Just for the record, the 1966 Dry Monopole tasted nothing like a prematurely oxidized Meursault chucked through a Sodastream. It tastes like sparkling nectar. 96/Drink 2018-2028