This week’s sparkler is from Piper Sonoma. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried this wine before, but it’s the only Northern California sparkling wine producer whose bubbly I’ve not had the pleasure of trying.
Piper Sonoma was founded in 1980 by the Piper-Heidseick Champagne house. This brand seems to be lagging behind other California sparking wine houses established by French Champagne houses like Chandon, Mumm, Taittinger and Roederer. It’s exchanged hands a few times. Last year it, along with Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck brands from the Champagne region of France, was sold by Rémy Cointreau to the Société Européenne de Participations Industrielles, or EPI. Prior to that, Rémy Cointreau USA sold the winery to J Vineyards & Winery in 1997 and continued to make wine under contract there until 2007. Then the brand was sold to Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services in Hopland, followed by Rémy brand Bearboat.
This cuvée is a typical blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier that includes 20-25% reserve wines. Between 75-80% of the fruit is from Sonoma with the balance being from Dry Creek, and Carneros.
Where it’s from: California>Sonoma Valley
The grape(s) Chardonnay (60%), Pinot Noir (15%), and Pinot Meunier (25%)
Production method: Traditional Method
Aging: 18 months on less
Retail: $18 (I purchased on sale for $12 – it’s frequently on sale at my local Safeway)
My tasting notes follow:
Light yellow straw color with lots of tiny bubbles with toasty biscuit, apple, and hints of floral and citrus aromas. On the palate, it’s between light, medium-bodied, and crisp with a surprisingly creamy mousse and green apple, vanilla, anise and mineral flavors. Medium finish. – 86pts
Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate cleansing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This one would be wonderful as an aperitif , and with first courses, such lobster rolls, crab cakes, or deviled eggs or salads.
Recommendation: This is a very good sparkler. I see it as a step up from many of the Korbel sparklers, but sold at a price point just below comparable entry-level sparklers from Mumm, Chandon, Gloria Ferrer, etc. It’s a “tweener” that offers good value at the sale price of $11.99.
- T.G.I.F. Champagne And The Like….Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (enofylzwineblog.com)