Tag Archives: Champagne under $20

Olympics Closing Ceremony with Piper Sonoma Brut Sparkling Wine


Piper Sonoma Brut Sparkling Wine

It is hard to believe that two weeks have gone by since I wrote about the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony and our wine filled weekend.  Suffice it to say my DVR and wine cellar [yes, still the guest room] have seen a lot of action since then.  The events in London have kept the world enthralled so what better way to celebrate than with a sparkling wine.

This is my first time drinking this sparkler from Piper’s main house: Piper Heidsieck Produced in California’s Sonoma County; it cannot be called Champagne.  Usually priced at under $20.00 and sometimes even under $15.00 this bubbly would compare in price to California’s Chandon and Washington State’s Domaine Ste. MichelleI paid $13.99 reduced from $19.00 at a Winn-Dixie grocery store.

The Brut blend is; 60% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier.  The aging is done on lees for a minimum of 18 months.  As per Wine SpectatorThis sparkling wine is made from hand-picked Champagne grapes grown in the Northern reaches of Sonoma County and the wine is aged on the yeast for a minimum 2½ year period of time. This gives the wine a complex bread-yeast aroma and lightly yeasty flavor. The wine is aged in large, French oak barrels (1625 gallon barrel foudres), before bottling and secondary fermentation. By aging this wine in oak, there is imparted to the wine a toasty/vanilla character in addition to the light apple and lemon flavors that the wine ordinarily possesses.

I found it interesting that this NV (Non-Vintage) Cuvée is produced by blending reserve wines from various years to produce a wine that has consistent flavor.  Pale gold straw in color, its yeasty aroma on the nose was most noticeable at first.  As the wine expanded and warmed scents such as green apple, vanilla and peach and even plum were also detected. The same was noted on the palate.  The plum [dark fruit] flavor I at least attribute to the Pinot’s in the blend.

I enjoyed Piper’s NV Cuvée would buy it again and would whole heartedly recommend it to others.  I would be interested in trying it along side the other sparkling wines I mentioned such as Chandon and Domaine Ste. Michelle. Even more so with a true French version. There are a lot of sparklers and even Champagne’s out there in the under $20.00 range to taste and I would be glad to volunteer my services 🙂  In fact I think I may have just thought of our next post 2012 Olympics “theme” for a night in with friends…..  ¡SALUD!

Winemaker information:

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