Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage 2012
Grape Varietals: 52% Pinot Noir & 48% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Reims - France
Chef de Cave: Régis Camus
Chef de Cave*: Émilien Boutillat - *(since October 2018)
I have had the pleasure of being a guest at Piper-Heidsieck in Reims-France on a number of occasions over three decades. With my last visit being in July 2019, when I caught-up with Émilien and the team to talk and taste through 2 decades of back vintages. As Émilien wanted to clearly understand the house style and expressions, so he knew how best to move forward with clarity and confidence.
This is the 2012 Piper-Heidsieck Vintage Brut - which was actually blended by Régis Camus, whom I also caught-up with during my time in Reims - *(as Émilien only joined the team in late 2018).
At Piper-Heidsieck they do not have a predefined recipe for their vintage Champagne expressions. Each vintage is a unique cuvée and reflection of what nature and the season has provided. This freedom and approach from Régis allows the team to capture and showcase the individual character of that growing season. But across their expressions, they do have a signature charm.
With the precision of a watchmaker, they selected 18 crus for the wine, primarily from Premier and Grands Crus. The more that nature tests their vines, the more exceptional the wine. The Pinot Noir came from the Montagne de Reims area and gives the wine perfect structure and balance. The Chardonnay fruit came from Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims areas and gives the wine elegance and personality. With the ever so slight focus on Pinot Noir in this blend and the unique character in the chosen parcels, it will mature well retaining structure and balance. The ageing of 6 years in the cellar has resulted in a generous and refined wine of real charm and defined personality.
The Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage 2012 immediately delights with its luminous personality. Lifting from your glass are aromas of tangerine peel, a ripe mix of citrus summer fruits, with a delicate touch of almond and ginger spice. These all lead onto a voluptuous palate, showcasing exotic fruit characters of rockmelon, white peaches, red apple skins, pineapple and toasted almonds. These all engage on a lush texture with deft touches of freshly cut honey-comb, star anise and vanilla spice, supported by an assertive structure and a defined mineral seam delivering a vibrant, precise sensory experience. Which pleasingly all linger on the long, silky off-dry finish.
This 2012 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage Champagne has 12% Alc./vol. - with 10g/L dosage. Chill gently and serve in an appropriately shaped aromatic wine glass at 9°-10°C.
A Vintage Champagne with a relaxed elegance and engaging charm.
Drinking perfectly well this season; and will mature nicely for another 8 - 10 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with stuffed crab, grilled whole fish, roast chicken w/ apple salad, mixed vegetarian cuisine, plus a ‘tarte et pomme’ with grilled peaches and vanilla bean gelato - enjoy.