Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Is Your Anytime Ace. Not Just Valentine's!

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne

Is Your Anytime Ace. Not Just Valentine's!

Piper-Heidsieck is one of the most famous houses in Champagne. It is known for its structured, fruit-driven house style made predominantly from Pinot Noir, with smaller portions of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. The company has its origins in the cloth- and wine-trading company Heidsieck and Co. which was founded in 1785 by Florens-Louis Heidsieck. 

The current winemaker is Émilien Boutillat.  “Émilien was born in the heart of champagne. He has made wine around France, in Chile, in South Africa and in New Zealand. He has a global perspective, a scientific approach and is one of the rising stars of the wine world.” Not a bad intro at all from Liberty Wines MD David Gleave as he introduced Émilien Boutillat during a masterclass last year. Judging by the two wines here, the intro was well deserved.

Piper Heidsieck Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut, 12% 

Émilien Boutillat

Through the pale gold colour, fountains of bubbles race in profusion towards the top. Nutty notes in the aromas. It really makes you stop and take notice on the palate, pear and apple amidst the lively citrus contribution. And, after that full and flavoursome combination (enhanced by the contribution of the reserve wines), comes a persistent dry finish. One of the very best Extra Brut champagnes I’ve come across (not that I’ve come across that many) and Very Highly Recommended.


Extra Brut.

Mise en Cave (cellared): 2015.

Degorgement: Jan 2019.

Winemaker: Émilien Boutillat.

Blending: Harvest 2014 and 18% Reserve wines

Grapes: 50% Pinot Noir , 30% Meunier, 20% Chardonnay

The Essentiel wines are produced exclusively for independent merchants and the on-trade. The Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut and the Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut are made in limited quantities and for the table, with their low dosage (6 g/l and 4 g/l respectively) making them ideal for whetting the palate or serving with seafood.

* I got this bottle as an unexpected gift at Christmas. You can get it in Mitchell & Son (Dublin) for €66.95, details here

Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut NV, 12%, on offer €39.95 (was €54.06), O’Briens Wine

This signature Brut has a really bright gold colour, lots of bubbles catching the lights. Aromas - fruity, biscuity.  Again fruity (citrus) and biscuity on the palate and it certainly lives up to the Brut with the persistent finish delicate with that lovely citrus prominent.

So what would you pair this beauty with? Lynne Coyle MW, of O’Briens, suggests it’s perfect with “the antics of Bridgerton and their society parties”.  "Enjoying the antics of Bridgerton and their society parties? then Champagne is the perfect match. Champagne would have been flowing freely during this period, establishing itself as a luxury celebration wine." 

Of course, you would need something to nibble on. Again Lynne has the solution: Rustic Bread & Black Olive Tapenade. Just ask the servants.

I got this bottle in “Deck the Halls” Feast Hamper that I bought from the excellent Glass Curtain restaurant in Cork City at Christmas.

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