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 classy gold trimmed, purple labelling of Piper’s Cuvée Sublime is a bit of a rare find on the local Champagne shelf. I found mine at Sydney Airport Duty free – and at less than $70 a bottle – it represents a bit of rare value in sweet champagnes.
Demi-sec like this has an increased dosage (sugar syrup content) than regular champagnes, which typically helps bring out more of the fruit expression and caramel notes in the drink. The trade off is the cost – typically they can be priced twice as much a houses regular NV Brut offerings. They are also a bit of an acquired taste…
Lets see where this takes us!
From: Reims, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$65 a bottle available from Heinemann Duty Free
Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (50/20/30) with 35 g/l Dosage
Sipped: Mid 2018
In the Glass:
Look: Deep golden colour with a strong run of bubbles.
Smell:Yeasty notes dominate over a nose that is (oddly) slightly olive and mostly sweet.
Taste: This one arrives with a honey and sultana like character which is quite pleasant.
It becomes a little rough at the peak of each sip – with scorched citrus notes showing through.
The extra sugar gives a boost to the strength of the honey and sultana flavours; this makes it an easy drinker, although it does finish a bit sour in the middle of the tongue which is at odds with its original sweetness.
Ultimately, I can drink this over and over pretty easily; but on the whole, it lacks a bit of excitement.
Party Potential: Cuvée Sublime is such a specialised offering that as a mainstream party plonk it just doesn’t work – unless you have a special cocktail that needs it… BYO to little functions where there’s a bit of a sit down dessert session.
As a Gift: A nice little gift to generate a bit of curiosity in an established bubbly drinker.
At Home: I would save this for a pairing with sweet cakes on the balcony with a few friends.
Score & Verdict:
At $65 I feel it is decent value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
I quiet sit in with the house mates. Champagne and Burgers.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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