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The vintage Piper is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes which have elegantly mingled to create this deep, complex, fruit-driven champagne, abound with fresh, lively notes of citrus and a clean, zesty finish. The latest vintage offering is lush long and packed with finesse. Be sure to have a bottle or two on hand for the races.
What Piper-Heidsieck has been able to achieve in the past decade or so is nothing short of sensational. Winemaking responsibilities fall in the exceptionally competent hands of Chef de Cave, Régis Camus. Régis, considered a ‘god’ like figure in the region, was crowned Sparkling Winemaker of the year by the International Wine Challenge in 2013 for the eighth time!
A cold winter and a mild late spring cued for a perfect June allowing early and fast flowering. Outstanding weather conditions prevailed and the season went on without dramatic turns. Rains in August raised concerns regarding gray rot, but finally sunshine and dry conditions throughout September resulted in an abundant crop of largely healthy fruit (11,930 kg/ha). Dehydration due to wind further aided in achieving perfect ripeness and additional concentration. This, and the cool nights, helped in retaining fresh acidity and, despite the ripeness (10.3% potential alcohol), the wines did not suffer from heaviness or a lack of life. A near-perfect vintage, which produced balanced Champagnes consistently around the region. The best show an impeccable combination of freshness, power, structure and finesse. However, some have matured aromatically quicker than expected and are already past their peak. 2002 produced an abundance of spectacular champagnes, such as Dom Pérignon (the entire range), Krug Vintage and Clos du Mesnil, Piper-Heidsieck Rare, Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Ruinart Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé, Salon Le Mesnil and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, to name a few.