Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage 2004
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Wine Spectator - "Rich and toasty, with hints of graphite and vanilla accenting brioche, poached apple and pear, almond cream and verbena. Vibrant and harmonious, with finely detailed texture and a long finish. Drink now through 2024. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 500 cases imported."
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.
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