Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee
Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
#84 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut is a classic, structured, full-bodied and bursting with fruit Champagne. The blend is composed of a majority of Pinots Noirs, incorporating more than 100 crus from around the Champagne region and Pinots Meuniers from the Grande et Petite Montagne de Reims region.
On the palate:
A structured, full-bodied and franc wine. A juicy, fleshy pear and golden grape texture. The finish narrows to citrus and grapefruit flavors. A wine with great fruit, a good mouthfeel and a harmonious balance.
Wine Spectator - "Vibrant acidity and flavors of toasted brioche, crushed blackberry, candied ginger and salted almond ride the fine, satiny texture of this harmonious Champagne, which features a fresh, graphite-tinged finish. "
Wine Enthusiast - "The style of Piper-Heidsieck's nonvintage Champagne is getting more and more refined. It is drier than in the past while also full of ripe white fruits. There is a tight structure, a hint of toast from bottle age and fresh acidity at the end. Ready to drink."
Wine & Spirits - "By far the best Piper Brut we've tasted in years, this is a full-bodied, oxidative, savory wine that would stand up to red meat. There's some sulfur when the wine is first poured, but once that dissipates, the richness of the texture takes over with bold, juicy lemon and ginger flavors. "
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The 'Piper' style plays on a register of freshness, vivacity and fruitiness. Piper-Heidsieck wines are joyful, youthful champagnes, with aromas of citrus and pip fruits contributing to their sense of liveliness. Consumers are pleasantly surprised when they taste these wines for the first time. If they were to be defined as a fragrance, they would be described as belonging to the Floral-Fruity-Fresh perfume family. These are wines that ring true, with great appeal yet good, clear-cut structure. The Cuvée Brut blend is made of around fifty crus, with not one jarring note allowed, since the final flavor should be one of simplicity and pleasure. Pinot Noir grapes from the Montagne de Reims and Côte des Bars areas add strength to the structure while Chardonnays from the Côte des Blancs and the Sézannais vineyards provide floral nuances following on to an exciting freshness. Finally, Pinot Meunier from the Vallée de la Marne and the Massif Saint-Thierry areas adds a touch of refreshing fruit. Although it is certainly true that Piper-Heidsieck wines have a strong personality, their harmony is all in subtlety. Cuvée Brut and other more complex champagnes such as Brut Divin, Cuvée Sublime and Cuvée Rare reveal Piper-Heidsieck's different shades of style. View all Piper-Heidsieck Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.54.3 out of 5 stars
13 ratings, 6 with reviewsSeth Steinberg - Port Angeles, WA512/23/2010We drink a lot of champagne, and we've tried a lot of different kinds, but we always come back to Piper Heidsieck, the basic brut. To us it is the platonic champagne, the benchmark, against which we describe all others; they are all lighter, crisper, darker, fuller. Maybe it's because we've been drinking and enjoying PH's basic brut for over 30 years now. It has a full bubble and a rich, nutty flavor, with little or no acid. It's not in an austere style, and lacks some of the more exotic flavors that pop up in some artisanal bubblies. It isn't Krug or La Grande Dame or a 1988 Acacia, but it is a magnificent champagne whether for a celebration or every day drinking.MEB1229 - Torrance, CA46/3/2010Very good but slightly on the yeasty side.411/30/2009A great way to celebrate friends and family - this adds a little lift to the usual celebratory meal.cnot3 - Chicago, IL510/20/2015Probably my favorite NV champagne. Perfectly balanced.LXS - Corte Madera, CA512/29/201343/30/2013512/19/2012I love this champagne. I have bought it for many years now and although a bit pricey, it is my go to holiday and special occasion champagne: not too dry, not too sweet--perfect.Muggs - Odessa, FL44/18/2012Omar Stradella - Potsdam, NY53/23/2012Omar Stradella - Potsdam, NY53/23/2012Lars Christensen - Lubbock, TX31/13/2011Erika Ellingson - Gig Harbor, WA54/10/201152/23/2009Very affordable, appropriate for all kinds of occasions - I brought this with me across the country to celebrate our anniversary with family - it's not too sweet but still dry enough - everyone loves it