Sunday, November 22, 2009

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Extra Dry

Piper Heidsieck
ChampagneExtra Dry
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Reims, France
$30.02 [usually around $40] -- Grapevine Market, Austin, TX

Color: Medium straw
Nose: Baking apple pie, nutmeg, bread
Body: Medium
Front: Almond, pear
Middle: Cinnamon, orange peel, honey
Back: Apple, pie pan scrapings, a hint of cognac
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

My first sparkling wine review! I drink sparkling wine all the time, actually, but often at restaurants or other people's houses. When I have it at home, it sort of feels like a travesty to write anything down about it. This seems particularly the case with honest-to-Allah Champagnes like this one.

Now, I dig the Piper Brut, which is dryer than this (the crafty French always fool you with their marketing prowess, calling the sweeter wine "extra dry" indeed). But this is a crowd-pleaser, and delightfully complex; the sweets are largely in fruity flavors, not straight-up sugar, so the more subtle things come through. Git you some salty-spicy almonds and nutty semi-soft cheese, and you will be in good company.