Champagne is just one of those wines you can drink morning, noon, and night. In the words of Madame Bollinger, one of the “Grande Dames” of French champagne (1884 – 1977), “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes, I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it if I am; Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”
Recently Piper Heidsieck held a vintage tasting at a beautiful Penthouse in NYC. Here we tasted through the Brut, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1998, and 1996. All vintages were stunning, but the true winner of this Somm’s heart was the 2000, which leaped out of the glass with full blown butter and bread notes. My initial reaction to this wine was, “Holy Butter”! Then once tasted again, it soon became my absolute favorite wine of the night.
The Brut is perfect for any champagne lover and entry level wine drinker. This is what very good champagne should taste like. The Brioche is prominent and perfectly blended with citrus, apple, and some pear notes, while the palate is playful and expected. Overall this is great champagne.
The 2006 is bright, vibrant, and has some more of those bread notes. Still fruit forward on the nose, this wine is striking and beautiful and would pair beautifully with any seafood and light pasta dish.
The 2004 was fun and unique, showing some more age of course, but still maintaining its young and vibrant youth. A beautiful nose and a lingering finish make this wine perfect as an aperitif or with a nice cheese spread.
The 2000, which has already been somewhat described as buttery and amazing, is a beautiful vintage!This wine strikes the nose with butter, brioche, and some slight citrus or yellow apple. On the palate this wine is creamy, playful, and complex.This wine would be perfect with a nice Shrimp, Spinach, and Citrus salad, Au Gratin Potatoes, and or even some comforting Mac & Cheese!
Now, most would assume that the older the vintage the more you will like it when it comes to high quality champagne and aging. In the case of Piper Heidsieck, the entire tasting was out of this world, yum.
The 1998 is more fruit forward than the 2000 which was surprising and alluring. This wine would make an excellent aperitif and or perfect company with a seafood dish.
And last, but certainly not the least when it comes to flavor, complexity, and style is the 1996. This wine was the last one tasted and for a very good reason. It was certainly one of the top contenders in this Somm’s tasting and was delicate, beautiful, and fruit forward.
Piper Heidsieck does it right when it comes to making Champagne. The styles of the wines are always alluring and complex, but also strike you with notes that you would expect from quality driven champagne. Be sure to try some fun pairings at home for yourself… do you dare to pair?