The Vigneview Verdict
Hailing from one of the Champagne’s oldest producers, this bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Sublime Demi-Sec NV is definitely something special. If you’re looking for a Champagne with a bit of a sweeter side, then this is the bottle for you. Piper Heidsieck has been the Champagne of choice for nobility and celebrities alike such as Marie Antoinette, Marilyn Monroe and Jean Paul-Gaultier. If it’s good enough for them, then I guess I should probably have a taste!
You may be wondering how a demi-sec Champagne differs from other ones? Well, basically, once the wine has undergone primary and secondary fermentation, a dosage is added before the cork and cage are put on the bottle. This dosage consists of reserve wine and a bit of sugar. The amount of sugar added depends upon the intended sweetness level of the final wine. For example, a Brut (or dry) Champagne has about 0-12g/L of sugar added, while a demi-sec has around 33-50g/L or sugar added. This demi-sec Champagne has had 33g/L of sugar added.
Made from a combination of Pinot Noir (structure), Pinot Meunier (fruit flavours) and Chardonnay (elegance), this Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Sublime is filled with tropical pineapple, ripe juicy pear notes, indulgent vanilla and a bit of toasty brioche. To further enhance this beautiful medley, a crisp acidity is enhanced by a vibrant, uplifting effervescence that carries the flavours on a lengthy, indulgent, yet subtly sweet finish.
This is an award winning Champagne with endless bubbles, fabulous flavours and a sensational level of sweetness that will bring out the best in any celebration!
If you’re wanting to directly complement the aromas and flavours found within this bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Sublime, then I recommend pairing it with a creamy dessert like crème brûlée. The ‘burnt’ sugary notes help to offset the sweetness within the dessert and while enabling the sugars and toasted brioche notes within the Champagne to shine. The vanilla elements within the crème brûlée are directly complementary with those flavours found within the wine.
If you’re after more of a contrast, then try pairing this demi-sec Champagne with a Stilton cheese. The Champagne’s residual sugar enhances the body of the wine which means that it matches the weight and creaminess of the cheese while also exposing its subtle sweetness. Meanwhile, the Champagne’s high acidity and vigorous effervescence will not only cut through the fattiness of the cheese but it will also come across as a bit more easy drinking because the cheese’s saltiness softens the tartness of the acidity. This creates a bit of a problem because your palate will enjoy this pairing so well that you’ll soon find that both the Champagne and the cheese have disappeared!
Producer: Piper Heidsieck
Vintage: Non-vintage (NV)
Grapes: Pinot Noir (50%), Pinot Meunier (30%) and Chardonnay (20%).
Colour: Medium gold
Fruit: Tropical pineapple and ripe juicy pear
Other: Vanilla and toasted brioche
Drinking Window: Can drink now or keep for 3-5 years.
Price: £39.99 (Simply Wines Direct)