Grape Varietals: 52% Chardonnay & 48% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Reims, France
Deputy Cellar Master: Séverine Frerson

With the recent visit of my good friend Benoit Collard - (Global Executive Director of Piper Heidsieck) to Auckland - New Zealand. We showcased and paired with some stunning local seasonal cuisine a number of quality Champagnes from the House of Piper Heidsieck. But one that we didn’t get to share with guests at a recent degustation was this unique creation - the recently released ‘Vintage’ 2008.

 

I have had the pleasure to be a guest at Piper-Heidsieck in Reims - France on several occasions over the past 25 years. With my last visit being in July 2016, where I got to catch-up with Séverine, Benoit and the team to talk and taste through their wines. At the time we could only talk about the 2008 vintage as it was not yet released, so now to taste this unique expression, which as one might expect from their exacting standards and winemaking ethos, has a different voice to the 2006 vintage, though still with its signature charm.
At Piper-Heidsieck they do not have a predefined recipe for their 'Vintage' Champagne expressions. Each vintage is a unique blend and reflection of what nature and that season have provided. This freedom and approach from Régis Camus (Chef de Cafe) and Séverine Frerson allow them to capture and showcase the unique character in their Champagne.
With the precision of a watchmaker, they selected 18 crus for this 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 champagne the 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 Chardonnay in this blend and the unique character in the chosen parcels, they will mature well while retaining a youthful, fresh appeal.
The ageing of 8 years in the cellar has resulted in a generous and refined wine of real charm and defined personality. And with a dosage of only 9.5g/l, this 'Vintage' Champagne is very appealing and rewarding if opened over the coming festive season. For those with patience and the ability to correctly cellar wine - will age and mature well for another 10+ years.
In your glass, you will be greeted by a glistening bead with a golden cloak. On the palate, this 2008 'Vintage' Champagne - has a generous nature, the fine mouse alludes and leads you on a sensory journey. You can taste both delicate and exotic fruits a result from the warmth of the season, interwoven with the caress of a refreshing acidity which dances across the surface of your tongue that beguiles your senses.
A complex wine, with lifted flavours of ripe white peaches and greengage plums, entwined with white floral notes of hawthorn blossom and fresh pepper spices, create a sensation of lightness, elegance and alluring charm. The palate is delicate and with a ripe freshness that sweeps across your palate, demonstrating this champagne’s liberated character, and with a refreshingly dry finish.
This 2008 Piper-Heidsieck 'Vintage' Champagne has 12% Alc/vol. Chill gently and serve in a generously shaped flute at 8-10°C. 

A Vintage Champagne with authentic elegance and refreshing charm.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Drinking perfectly well this festive season; and will mature well for another 10+ years. 

FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with crab, crayfish, grilled calamari, chicken and apple salad, vegetarian cuisine, along with tarte et pomme, grilled peaches and gelato - enjoy.