A superlative wine of great elegance, style and flair. The toasty nose holds notes of warm butter, ripe white fruits and smooth lime coulis, while to taste it’s smoky and autolytic, with flavours of minerals, spices, vanilla, nuts and ripe tangerine fruit. An absolute pleasure (12%).
POA Mathew Clark

Out of a 10-strong line-up of quality sparkling wines – taking in Champagne, the UK, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Canada and Australia – this Piper-Heidsieck 2006 was a clear favourite with our judges.

They loved its classic profile, elegance and vivacity, allowing it to outshine, but only just, its multi-award-winning stablemate Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millénaires.

For Piper-Heidsieck cellarmaster Régis Camus, 2006 was a year of contrasts which – eventually – resulted in an ‘unexpectedly elegant and charming wine’. The year was characterised by variable weather, from a July heatwave to violent rain and hail in August.

This had a varying impact on the grape varieties, with Pinot Noir showing exceptional intensity early on, while the Chardonnay appeared to be set for a longer maturation.This convinced Camus to increase the proportion of Chardonnay in the blend to an unusually high 51% (Piper tends to favour a greater proportion of Pinot in its vintage blends) to soften the power of the Pinot.

A blend of 17 Champagne ‘crus’, of which nine are grands crus and seven premiers crus, it has taken six years in Piper’s cellars for this wine to reach the perfect balance, finally expressing the vintage’s inherent elegance and charm.

France Champagne Piper-Heidsieck vats credit Francois Lacour

Piper-Heidsieck cellarmaster.

Tasted against

Arras, EJ Carr Late Disgorged, Tasmania, Australia 2002 • Bjana, Brut Rosé, Brda, Primorska, Slovenia NV • Charles Heidsieck, Blanc des Millénaires Brut, Champagne, France 1995 • Coates & Seely, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Hampshire, UK NV • Gramona, Imperial Gran Reserva Brut, Cava, Spain 2008 • Herbert Beaufort, Marks & Spencer, Carte d’Or Grand Cru Brut, Champagne, France NV • Raventós i Blanc, Manuel Raventós, Spain 2007 • Sekthaus Solter, Riesling Réserve, Rheingau, Germany 2009 • Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Steller’s Jay, Pinnacle Méthode Classique, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 2006.

Régis Camus official

Régis Camus says this 2006 is “unexpected charming”