Champagne tasting featuring Piper Heidsieck Rare

Saturday, December 4, 2021 - 07:30 PM

This Event has been read: 1051 times.

A man, fallen on hard times, sold his art collection but kept his wine cellar. When asked why he did not sell his wine, he said, "A man can live without art, but not without culture. ~ Anonymous



Champagne is the name of a region and therefore anything inside the boundaries of Champagne can use this name on their label, everything else is just sparkling wine.  The important thing to look for on the label when it comes to sparkling wines outside of the Champagne region is the method of production and if the words, methode champenoise are there were in business, this means that the sparkling wine in the bottle is made with the same standards that are used in the great wines from the Champagne region of France. 

And just in case you missed the evidence that Champagne is good for your cognitive functions, that’s correct scientists have just proven that Champagne is good for your brain.  Check out the scientists’ evidence at the end of this e-mail and get your Champagne here!!

Check out two of the historic Champagne houses along with a selection of the Piper Heidseick’s tete de Cuvee “Rare”.  The fee for this tasting is $295 + tax which includes dinner, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

See the source image
Champagne tasting featuring Piper Heidsieck Rare
Saturday, December 4, 2021
7:30 PM


NV Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blanc Champagne
Price: $101.25    Your Price: $89.01
Winery Notes: TO THE EYE: pale, crystalline gold with the typical glints of the Chardonnay varietal.
ON THE NOSE: the aromas of mature Chardonnay can be recognized initially: white peach, candied citrus with notes of lime, honeysuckle and fresh hazelnut, giving way to subtle hints of tangerine and lemon.
ON THE PALATE: freshness and tautness mark this typically Charles generosity: the attack is pure and forthright, not aggressive but almost unconventionally suave for a Blanc de Blancs, so often en characterized as being sharp rather than creamy. The harmonious finish offers surprising minerality and a slight salinity.

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne
Price: $54.00       Your Price: $47.52
TO THE EYE:  The Brut Réserve boasts a deep golden hue.  Delicate, vivacious and long-lasting bubbles are the result of a long, slow maturing process in chalk cellars.
ON THE NOSE: Thanks to 40% of reserve wines, the blend offers a complex, elegant, voluptuous nose with a touch of freshly baked brioche, rich toasted notes and sun-drenched fruits - mango, apricot and mirabelle plum - accented by dried fruits, pistachio and almond.
ON THE PALATE: The texture is reminiscent of a crisp layer of nougatine on a velvety cream pastry, filled with plump red plums and ripe cherries. The selection of reserve wines gives the wine lushness. The finish unveils notes of praline and vanilla.

NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose Reserve
Price: $76.50       Sale Price: $67.32
(95 Points)  Twinkling salmon lights in the glass. Intriguing citrus aromas pour out, backed up by toasty, honeyed tones. The Pinot Noir character really shows through in a rich, opulent style.  Decanter

2012 Charles Heidsieck Brut Millesime Champagne
Price: $112.50    Your Price: $99.00
WINERY NOTES: The year 2012 made news. Not often does so chaotic and challenging a vintage provide wines with such incredible balance, concentration and harmony. Today the 2012 vintage has found its place amongst the great Champagne years.2012, a vintage, an evidence, a"classic" for Charles. The House has meticulously selected 10 Grands and Premiers Crus this cuvée is enticing for its pleasant smoothness, aromatic intensity and the saline freshness that is so typical of the House. Its elegance and depth make it ideal for enjoying and pairing with the most sophisticated dishes. It is also perfectly suited for further ageing.

2005 Charles Heidsieck Rose Brut Champagne
Price: $162.00    Your Price: $142.56
(93 Points) This bottle of the 2005 Brut Rosé was disgorged in 2017 with ten grams per liter dosage. It's a lovely wine that offers up complex notes of red apple, mandarin, white cherries, brioche and nutmeg. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and vibrant, with a fleshy core of fruit, brisk acids, a refined mousse and lovely chalky grip on the finish. This is a serious, vinous rosé that numbers among the challenging 2005 vintage's successes.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2006 Piper Heidsieck Rare Brut Champagne
Price: $172.50    Your Price: $151.80
(94 points)  The 2006 Brut Cuvée Rare is a rich, gourmand rendition of this prestige bottling, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles aromas of yellow orchard fruit, pears and fresh pineapple with nuances of buttered toast, iodine and smoke. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and textural, while remaining fresh and surprisingly tight-knit at the core, concluding with a long and saline finish. There's sufficient structural tension here to promise more than a decade's graceful evolution, and although this is nicely balanced, it's a generous, sun kissed rendition of the Cuvée Rare that reflects the warm vintage.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2008 Piper Heidsieck Rare Rose Brut Champagne

Price: $510.00    Your Price: $448.80
(95 Points) The 2008 Brut Rosé Cuvée Rare is the second rendition of this cuvée ever produced, and the wine is showing very well, unwinding in the glass with a youthfully shy nose featuring white cherries, blood orange, Meyer lemon, honeysuckle and dried white flowers that offers the promise of considerable complexity to come. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, racy and tight-knit, with good concentration, beautifully integrated acids and a fine mousse, concluding with a long, saline and delicately phenolic finish. This is really quite reserved after its recent disgorgement but should develop beautifully with a few years on cork.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Cheese and Charcuterie Selection
George Blanc Potato Cakes with American Sturgeon Caviar
Truffle Shoestring Fries with fresh shaved Reggiano Parmesan
Sea Scallop Carpaccio with Candied Lemon and lavender Aioli
Evil Jungle Prince Shrimp served over Udon Noodles
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $295 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail  Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions and chef Toni will be happy to accommodate you.

Scientific evidence that Champagne is good for you!!

New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia.

Scientists at the University of Reading have shown that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about one's environment, and storing the information for future navigation.

The compounds work by modulating signals in the hippocampus and cortex, which control memory and learning. The compounds were found to favourably alter a number of proteins linked to the effective storage of memories in the brain.  Many of these are known to be depleted with age, making memory storage less efficient, and leading to poorer memory in old age and conditions such as dementia.  Champagne slows these loses and therefore may help prevent the cognitive losses that occur during typical and atypical brain ageing.

Champagne has relatively high levels of phenolics compared to white wine, deriving predominantly from the two red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are used in its production along with the white grape Chardonnay.  It is these phenolic compounds which are believed to be responsible for the beneficial effects of champagne on the brain.

Professor Jeremy Spencer, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, said: "These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory.  Such observations have previously been reported with red wine, through the actions of flavonoids contained within it.

"However, our research shows that champagne, which lacks flavonoids, is also capable of influencing brain function through the actions of smaller phenolic compounds, previously thought to lack biological activity. We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective."

Dr. David Vauzour, the researcher on the study, added: "in the near future we will be looking to translate these findings into humans.  This has been achieved successfully with other polyphenol-rich foods, such as blueberry and cocoa, and we predict similar outcomes for moderate Champagne intake on cognition in humans."  

Previous research from the University of Reading revealed that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation and could reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The paper is published in Antioxidants and Redox Signaling.

For all media enquiries please contact Alex Brannen 07834 006 243 or James Barr 07788 714376
Notes for editors:
The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012) and is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities
The Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences is the largest University department of its kind in the UK, combining state of the art teaching facilities, clinical nutrition unit, labs and the largest pilot processing plant in the UK. The Department is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and enjoys a high public profile both domestically and internationally.
The department continues to work with the food industry over a wide range of industrially funded research projects and contracts under our Food Chain and Health research theme. This includes one-to-one funding from multi-national companies through to small and medium sized enterprises.

See the source image

In 1851, after a carefree youth as philanderer, lover and society darling, Charles-Camille Heidsieck - otherwise known as "Champagne Charlie" came to realize there was something far more important in life. Champagne.  That was the year he regained control of the family firm and established Charles Heidsieck Champagne.  His goal was to establish his firm as one of the greatest in the world - America.  Perhaps he was reaching for the sky, but - as a businessman - he had his feet firmly on the ground.  He knew that he would have to invest in radically improving the wine stocks.  He understood that keeping the better vintages in reserve, rather than selling them, was the only way to guarantee quality.  He accepted the need to replace hand-blown bottles with those produced to factory tolerances, in which the precious product could gain the benefit of ageing, without the drawback of exploding.  Above all, he was the consummate salesman.  He decided that the only way to underpin the massive investment necessary was to seek a brand new market in a brave new world.  America.  It's worth bearing in mind that conquering the American market in those days wasn't quite as easy as it might be today.  Getting there, for instance, depended on prevailing winds, not air traffic control.  Communicating with your distributors was by wire - not by telephone.  He is reputed to have sold 300,000 bottles of Champagne in the United States in the year previous to the breakout of the Civil War.  Soon after he became embroiled in the conflict and was thrown in jail on charges of espionage.  All the while, the business had to take in its stride the risks of extending credit to distributors with neither credentials nor scruples.  Fortunately, Charles never lost his nerve.  Thanks to his remarkable talent for self-publicity, the original "Champagne Charlie" never looked back; and America was won over.  And the marque was on its way to establishing a reputation as one of the finest in the world.  Charles-Camille Heidsieck died in 1893, leaving the company to his son Charles--Marie-Heidsieck.  In 1976 Charles Heidsieck merged with Henriot and in 1985 Rémy-Martin acquired the majority interest.

For some time Charles Heidsieck has been almost a Cinderella among Champagnes - never quite recognized for what it was in spite of some very alluring qualities.  The current owners of the house, Rémy Martin, have reacted positively to this; and in the spring of 1988 launched a new Brut Réserve that marked the culmination of a program of investment which had been set in action in 1985 when the business was purchased from Henriot.  Rémy Martin, better known as a great Cognac house, has now become a power in Champagne after also acquiring Piper-Heidsieck in 1988 for a reported $197 million.  Rémy Martin, which also controls Krug, is now the fourth largest producer of bubbly in France with annual shipments in excess of 700,000 cases.  Besides its interests in Champagne, Rémy Martin owns the Napa Valley producer RMS Vineyards and makes wine in Australia, China, and Brazil.  It also controls the Bordeaux négociant house of A. de Luze & Fils.

Today the firm of Charles Heidsieck enjoys a tremendous reputation among aficionados of Champagne.  They own 25 acres of grand cru vineyards, rated 100%, in the village of Oger.  Additional grapes are purchased from 105 different vineyards.  The cellars at Charles Heidsieck were dug out of chalk 2000 years ago by the Romans.  They are 20 meters deep and maintain a constant temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wine-making facilities were extensively updated in 1984.  Annual sales are about 300,000 cases.  In the past several years we have been very impressed with just about everything the firm of Charles Heidseick has produced.  Wine Magazine of Britain recently named Daniel Thibault, the winemaker of Charles Heidseick (and also Piper-Heidseick), as "Sparkling Winemaker of 1994." Thibault was given this honor on the strength of his achievements with the non-vintage Brut Reserve, but all of the Champagnes he has made for Charles Heidseick were cited for their tremendous leap in quality over the past few years. (We might add that the Piper-Heidseick Champagnes are now also looking much better in the eyes of consumers and critics alike.  The recent Piper-Heidseick non-vintage Brut Rosé was given the esteemed "Spectator Selection" designation with a score of (93) in The Wine Spectator.  Right after the Rémy-Martin acquisition, Champagne sales had begun to take off at an unprecedented rate.  Most Champagne houses were consumed with a desire to feed this apparently insatiable demand and were releasing much of their wine without sufficient aging and without the use of significant reserve stocks to bolster the quality.  Many champenois thought Thibault had gone crazy as he built up massive stocks of reserve wines to the detriment of current sales.  These were not just wines from the previous year or two, but rather true reserves ranging across no less than eight different vintages.  Rémy-Martin, however, backed Thibault to the hilt, providing the budget necessary to incorporate as much as 40% reserve wines in his basic non-vintage blend and accepting plummeting sales with surprising alacrity.  The money men and marketers were astonished by Rémy's acquiescence at a time  when the rest of the trade was making a killing.  According to Tom Stevenson, renowned British authority on Champagne, "Charles Heidseick had become the greatest value, most consistent non-vintage brut on the market."

This is the most perfect expression of the Charles Heidsieck style: at the same time unctuous, round and vivacious, wines with an elegant complexity.  They embody the main qualities of the House, the multiple facets of its know how.



See the source image

Like the other two Heidsieck houses (Charles Heidsieck and Heidsieck Monopole, the firm owes its earliest origins to Florenz-Louis Heidsieck in 1785.  However, its real history began in 1834, when one of the original three nephews of Florenz-Louis bought into the business and established his own house.  For Piper-Heidsieck, the nephew in question was Christian Heidsieck, but he spent barely one year selling Champagne under the simple marque of Heidsieck before he died.  In the hands of his widow the house became known as Veuve Heidsieck, but her mourning lasted just two years.  In 1837 she married Henri-Guillaume Piper, her brother-in-law.  Henri Piper, who was a great-nephew of Florenz-Louis, had been an associate in the firm since its inception.  Under his control, the business changed names to H. Piper & Co., but continued selling its Champagne under the marque of Heidsieck until 1845.  In that year - although the firm held on to the rights of the Heidsieck marque - it began selling its Champagne as Piper-Heidsieck in deference to its American customers, who had insisted on calling the wine "Piper's Heidsieck."

Jean-Claude Kunkelmann, who had been representing H. Piper & Co. in America, returned to Reims in 1850 with a veritable fortune (possibly earned by commissions) and was duly made a partner, as was Christian Walbaum, who had been representing the firm in Russia.  When Henri Piper died in 1870, he left H. Piper & Co. to Kunkelmann, who changed its title to Kunkelmann et Cie, which remained the firm's legal name until it was sold to Rémy-Martin in the 1980's.

When Kunkelmann died in 1881, he left the business to his son Ferdinand Kunkelmann.  In 1930, Ferdinand's daughter, the Marquis de Saurez d'Aulan, inherited Kunkelmann et Cie.  Her husband, the Marquis, helped administer the company's affairs (in 1936 he was, incidentally, a member of the French Olympic bobsleigh team.)  He was decorated posthumously with the Croix de Guerre and the Légion d'Honneur for his daring exploits during World War II.  The Marquise later remarried - her second husband was Général d'Alès.  Her son, François d'Aulan, remained firmly in control of Piper-Heidsieck until it was sold to Rémy.

Although the reputation of Piper-Heidsieck had wavered by the time of the sale to Rémy in 1988, what one thought of Piper-Heidsieck in the past has changed considerably.  Even vintages largely under the control of the former regime were improved before they were released by Rémy.  There was immediately an infusion of sorely needed capital - part of Rémy Martin's utter resolve to upgrade quality.  Of course, for a Champagne House virtually without vineyards, winemaker Daniel Thibault's knack for purchasing the best crus and then skillfully putting together the best blends is of supreme importance.  He selects from well over 100 different vineyards; and to our knowledge, he is the only winemaker in Champagne to vinify every cru separately.

The British, who make a habit of drinking more Champagne per capita than any country except France itself, have been enjoying a love affair with Charles Heidsieck's, Piper-Heidsieck's sister house, for the past half dozen years.  The well-regarded English periodical, Wine, tapped Daniel Thibault as "Sparkling Winemaker of 1994."  Thibault was given this honor on the strength of his achievements with all of his Champagnes, including those he has made at Piper-Heidsieck.