Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage Rare 2002
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
A prestigious, classical prestige cuvee from 2002 vintage – structured, full-bodied and bursting with fruit. Elaborated with a majority of Chardonnays from the Montagne de Reims region (70%) and complemented with Pinot Noir (30%) from the same region, this wine is a blend of 17 crus which matured for over seven years in the House's cellars. A 2002 vintage synonymous with richness and generosity.
On the palate:
A wine with depth but also honed, precise, in harmony. Voluptuous delicacy with meringue notes. Subtle nuances evoke distant lands – mint tea, lime, kumquat and exotic fruits such as pineapple and candied ginger.
Wine Spectator - "A powerhouse, with verve to the finely cut, racy acidity, showing a sense of finesse and seamless integration of the firm frame. The silky texture carries layer upon layer of toasted brioche, currant and pear pâte de fruit flavors, with notes of grated ginger and coconut, cappuccino foam and spun honey. Mineral accents of smoke, ground spice and fleur de sel build on the long, echoing finish. Drink now through 2032. 1,000 cases imported."
Australian Wine Companion - "This is only the eighth vintage since 1976, the smallest hit rate of any major Champagne house. It is a blend of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, extra time on cork post-disgorgement adding to the complexity – and harmony – of the marriage between the zesty grapefruit flavours of the chardonnay and layers of creamy/honeyed brioche ex the time on tirage and the pinot noir component. The farewell of lively acidity attests to the quality of the vintage."
Wine & Spirits - "This is a blend from 17 crus in the Montagne de Reims, 70 percent chardonnay, 30 percent pinot noir. It is, by far, the Piper Rare we've tasted in recent memory. Dressed as the bottle is in filigreed gold that might serve as the tiara for a princess, the wine is more animal, taking chardonnay into a fine mist, like the scent of swear off that princess. Yes, I was completely seduced by this 2002, by its complex scent of plum and ginger, mushroom and root; by the silken elegance of its bubbles; by the way it shimmers into the distance as its flavors slowly recede. harmonious and accessible, in fact, delicious to drink now, this has the structure to hold tight for several years in the cellar. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This is top Champagne from Piper-Heidsieck, offering the delicious airy quality that’s the hallmark of this house, with crisp apple flavor, tangy acidity and the first signs of yeasty, toasty bottle age. Its fruit intensity has transformed into a splendid selection. It’s worth aging for a few more years, though also delicious now."
International Wine Cellar - "Light, bright gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes candied orange, pear and ginger, with building floral and spice nuances. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering an array of citrus and floral flavors that become richer with air. A hint of nuttiness arrives on the finish, which is spicy, focused and very long. This Champagne seems set for a long life. "
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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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.