Mark Twain said about Champage that “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” The Wine Junkies, being Champagne lovers, can perfectly adhere to that. We therefore graciously accepted the invitation from Piper-Heidsieck for a tasting of their range of bubbles.
Champagne runs in the blood of the Heidsieck family. In 1785 Florens-Louis Heidsieck founded Heidsieck & Co Monopole. His offspring successfully established the houses Piper-Heidsieck as well as Charles Heidsieck, but today Piper-Heidsieck is without doubt the most established and recognised brand, partly because of it being the red carpet’s favourite Champagne.
It’s said that Piper-Heidsieck was Marilyn Monroe’s favourite Champagne and it has made many appearances in famous movies, the first one being Laurel and Hardy’s “Sons of the Desert”. Today, the house sponsors the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards.
Our charming host, the French Valentine Labarthe-Bourrié, arranged for a wonderful afternoon tasting featuring a great selection of the Champagne with its characteristic logo design.
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV
Blended from over 100 crus, of which 10-20% are reserve wines, this signature cuvee has proven to be very consistent. Pale-gold in colour, the nose is very appealing offering hints of nuts and toast. Dominant flavours of apple, pear and citrus fruit this is an excellent non-vintage entry Champagne at great value.
Piper-Heidsieck Vintage 2008 Brut
Made from predominantly Premier and Grand Crus, half Chardonnay, half Pinot Noir this Champagne is produced only in excellent years. 2008 was such a year (most critics agree that 2008 was the best vintage of the first decennium of this millenium) and has only been released in 2017 after spending eight years ageing to perfection in the cellars of Piper-Heidsieck.
Despite its age it’s still very youthful and fresh. What we get in the nose are flavours of yeast and biscuit, typical for an ellegant vintage Champagne. The fine mousse brings with it a refreshing acidity with caramel and honey.
If you can resist to leave this bottle untouched in your cellar, you will be rewarded to allow it to age for another 10+ years.
Piper-Heidsieck Vintage 2002 Rare
The absolute flagship wine of Piper-Heidsieck is majestic,smooth and sumptuous at the same time. We simply could not get enough of it. It is only made in truly extraordinary years, and this wine was first produced after the legendary heatwave of 1976. Later vintages were ’79, ’85, ’88, ’90, ’98, ’99, ’02 and most recently ’07.
Carefully selected blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%), welcoming aromas of exotic fruits and hazelnut invite you to further explore this outstanding wine. The aged palate is abundant and full-bodied, creamy yet we also tasted exotic fruit, honey and a sublte acidity.
This wine has accumulated many prices at reputable wine competitions, such as the International Wine & Spirit Competition, the Oscars equivalent for the wine industry.
Production is limited, so if you can get your hands on one, do not hesitate. This Champagne will not let you down.
Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage NV
The last wine of the tasting was the Rosé Sauvage non vintage. At least 50% Pinot Noir was used for this Rosé Champagne resulting in an intense colour of pink and orange. We get a lot of strawberry and red fruit aromas while the palat offers orange and cherry as well. A nicely balanced acidity it is no wonder why the house itself calls this a truly gastronomic wine.
The Director of Winemaking, or “Chef de Cave” at Piper-Heidsieck Régis Camus was awarded “Sparkling Winemaker of the Year” 8 times and according to many critics is the world’s best Champagne maker. The Piper-Heidsieck Champagnes offer a great range for every occasion. In our opinion, the non-vintage Brut is one of the best valued Champagnes available on the market, while their vintage Champagnes are a great resemblance of the world’s best sparkling wines. We fully understand why Piper-Heidsieck was Marilyn Monroe’s favourite Champagne.