Am I A Champagne Slut? – Piper Calls The Rosé Tune

Should I be ashamed?  I love this rosé champagne. Of all the four champagnes I tasted this Easter, oh, what the hell, drank, this was my favourite. It helped the host had made some die-for-grilled-haloumi-over-pesto-on-blini-base-canapés. It helped the sun shone.

But I always feel guilty to confess my shameless love for this vulgar-label wine and I fall every time it dips its eye and grins in my direction.  I’m gone, a champagne slut.  If you’re a certified champagne sectioned nut like me, been around the block and know the small print, you’re not supposed to be besotted by Piper Heidsieck. That’s the one that does very well in the USA.  It’s a bit sweet, especially for those yanks who can’t get off candy and get fat.  This is the house that’s in all the supermarkets and often on promo.  It’s the house that used to advertise on the back of London buses, with a damsel in a tight dress and a shapely bum as big as, well…the back of a London bus. This is fizz for those who think finesse is a sand bar in Devon. It’s lovely.

Sound of gong wielded by muscle man. But that was then. The truth is that Regis Camus and his winemaking team at P& C Heidsieck have been upping the quality anti of Piper for some time now and I suggest you call it in and look again. Obviously, and especially if you are talking the vintage super luxe thing they called Rare, Piper was not always dull.  But Cécile Bonnefond’s arrival a few years ago from Veuve Clicquot and a change of owner, have done this house a big favour. Instead of Piper always being on the card at hick race meetings no one knew about, while Charles Heidsieck, the classy one, was always at Longchamps, now they are more often neck and neck. OK, let’s just say Piper has crept up the inside rail.

But to some extent, it’s all by the by.  I’ve always been dawdling in the back room with this rosé.  When you are helpless, the views of experts don’t matter.  It’s just strictly between me and Rosé Sauvage.

Why?  It’s so dark and dusky; gets you thinking, ha, saignée.  But it’s not. It’s about 75% ripe raspberry Pinot Noir and the rest Meunier, I think (see, I’m supposed to know but don’t even care really).  But it gets a ginormous fraction of added Ambonnay red wine poured into its lovely body, about 20% at least.  That might be the rosé with the mostest added red blend wine I know of.  But who really cares.. I say it again.  There’s a lick of tannin, you know, that pull of rough on the end of a kiss, just inside the cheek. Some people in smart wine books call that ‘rustic’. But who cares, it’s down and gone and I’m up for air and it’s here again. No need to read that book on Mindfulness.

It’s all musky cherry and saffron spice.  There’s a whiff of Earl Gray tea, honey, as in you with buttered toast. No worries that here you have to comment on how pale and sophisticated it looks or is bone dry and very complex, because it isn’t.  It has about 9gm/L sweetness, the average for big house champagne Brut these days.

But it’s here and in my glass and right now that’s all that matters. I’ve turned off my phone.

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One Response to Am I A Champagne Slut? – Piper Calls The Rosé Tune

  1. Divine with barbecued lamb cutlets, too, Tim.


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