Piper-Heidsieck is the most popular of the 3 well-known Heidsieck Champagne houses. The House began as Heidsieck & Co in 1785 which was split into two companies by bickering descendants in 1838 – One continuing and evolving into Piper-Heidsieck, the other into Heidsieck & Monopole. A third house: Charles Heidsieck, came to be in 1851 by virtue of another descendant of the Heidsieck Clan (naturally named Charles), and this is a sister brand to Piper as both were acquired by EPI group in 2012.
The in-your-face gold trimmed, hot pink of Piper Rosé Sauvage is so easy to spot on the Champagne shelf. At less than $70 a bottle, it also represents good value in terms of Rosé wines, which are pricier that their white NV counterparts courtesy of the value of red wines made in Champagne.
The mission by Chef de Cave (Chief Winemaker) Regis Camus for Rosé Sauvage was to bring a very different and pioneering style of Champagne to the table, and this is evident once you open the bottle. This Piper has a very distinct, stronger red hue to it than most other rosé varietals. The statement of the house saying that it should be served in big red wines glasses.
Lets see where this takes us…
From: Reims, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$69 a bottle available from most Bottleshops
Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (60/15/25) with 11 g/l Dosage
Aging: 2 Years
Sipped: Early of 2017
In the Glass:
Look: A surprisingly crimson hue that looks like blood orange juice. Fine bubbles with medium vigour.
Smell: A unique noseful of pepper, herbs and mixed berries with a tint of yeasty goodness.
Taste: From the first sip, its clear this is much more a red wine, than a rosé. It has a very strong, peppery red wine hit much like a Shiraz, with strong fruit notes such as blood orange, tart cranberries and the white caps of strawberries all mixed in. It has enough sweetness to also taste a bit like a jam at times.
The finish however, remains strongly peppery and spicy, with a balanced level of acidity not burning away the tongue, and leaving a scorched aftertaste that reminds me of Campari.
It is definitely not what my guests or myself were expecting. Demands a worthy match.
Notes: This is a Champagne for matching with mains, more so than canapes and entrees.
Party Potential: Rosé Sauvage is so far out of field that I wouldn’t recommend it for parties, unless it was a dinner party and you were serving red meats. BYO if you know what you’re in for.
As a Gift: Rose Sauvage makes a good gift for an experienced collector. It is too far out of alignment with what people expect of Rosés to be enjoyed by the average punter.
At Home: I reckon this would actually go very well with a beef roast or some nice, thick steaks with a small gathering.
Matching: Spare this from aperitif duties and rock this at the main course – so long as the main course is red meats. As previously mentioned, a nicely done roast beef, or thick Eye Fillets with plenty of rareness in the centre will do quite well with this rosé.
Score & Verdict:
A loud, proud Red-Head who likes being noticed. Totally unashamed with their red tinge – they embrace it to its fullest and aren’t afraid to express it to everyone. Bold and different, they are amazing in the right scenario, but really tiring when not.
At $69 I feel it is decent value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
Ringing in 2017!
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
For more reviews like this, click here