Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs
Pale straw in color, with tiny bubbles and aromas of green apple, citrus and white flowers. The palate is crisp and dry with a long mouthwatering finish.
Blend: 75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Blanc
Piper Sonoma was founded in 1980 by the Marquis d’Aulan family, direct descendants of the Piper family. Recognizing Sonoma as a great growing region for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and believing in its terroir, the family's vision was to produce world-class sparkling wines in the New World, using old-world winemaking techniques. Nearly forty years later, the Piper Sonoma winemaking team continues to realize that vision and hand crafts premium sparkling wines under the guidance of long-time sparkling winemaker Keith Hock.
With nearly forty years of experience in Sonoma County, the winemaking team source from more than 20 growers, some of whom, like the Green, Young and Ledbetter families, have been supplying grapes for more than three decades. Many growers have adopted voluntary no-till farming practices, with a strict adherence to hillside ordinances. Sustainable agriculture and integrated pest management techniques have been integrated and organic or naturally derived fertilizers are utilized, while composted grape material is used as fertilizer to increase water efficiency and help build soil structure.
Piper Sonoma handcrafts their sparkling wines from the classic varietals Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, by Méthode Traditionnelle, the same technique used to craft the best Champagnes. Each parcel is pressed and fermented separately, creating an extensive selection of base wines to choose from. Winemaker Keith Hock then tastes each component and selects those base wines that show potential to produce exceptional wine. The cuvée is placed en tirage for secondary fermentation in the bottle prior to disgorgement. Finally, a small percentage of older reserve wine is included in the liqueur d'expedition adding further complexity and texture.
The Piper Sonoma house style is focused on precision and attention to detail. Each wine displays a balance between fruit expression, complexity and texture, to create wines that are immediately approachable and can further develop with bottle aging.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.