Charles & Piper Heidsieck at K&L
Friday, December 2, 2016 at 11:32AM
Gary Westby

From left to right Damien Lafaurie, Gary Westby, Benoit Collard

Today we were treated to a very nice visit from Mr. Damien Lafurie, President and CEO of Charles & Piper Heidsieck and Benoit Collard, Executive Vice President of Piper Heidsieck. They had just arrived from a very cold Reims that had temperatures dipping down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit when they left. We welcomed them with a bit of California sun and a look around K&L headquarters.

As many of you regular readers know, we have been very impressed with the constantly improving quality of both Charles and Piper and with the very fine value that both offer at their respective price points. Every time I taste a bottle of the Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($49.99), I am blown away by the extraordinary complexity that only old reserve wines and patient time on the lees can bring. This is certainly one of the best non vintage offerings of any of the major houses, and the 40% reserves in the blend that average 10 years old really make the Champagne.

In the Prestige category there are very few of the great 2002’s left. We feel very lucky to still offer the 2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne ($149) which is the best of all the richer style tete de cuvees on the shelf at K&L. It is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, all vinified in stainless and is loaded with lovely brioche balanced by great vibrancy. Unlike many big houses, Piper only makes the Rare about twice a decade!

If you haven’t tried the Champagne from these two great houses lately, I would encourage you to put them on your list. They are fantastic!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby

Article originally appeared on K&L Uncorked (
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