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The Piper Sonoma Brut is a non-vintage Champagne-style Sparkling wine I found selling for $17 (lists for 21.99). It is a blend of 56% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Blanc, and 6% a blend of aged Reserve wine. The aged Reserve wine is from their higher-tier sparkling wine. Piper Sonoma was. founded in 1980 as the California outpost for the French Champagne Piper Heidsieck brand.
Piper Sonoma uses 20 growers, some of whom they have been using for decades. They have been working with the growers to use sustainable and sometimes organic farming practices.
The Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc are picked by hand and brought immediately to the Piper Sonoma winery. The three grapes are fermented separately to allow the winemaker the widest selection to produce the house style.
The second fermentation (triage) lasts a minimum of 19 months while the minimum in Champagne France is 18 months. After the second fermentation, the dead spent yeast is extracted from each bottle. The bottle is then topped off with an exact measure of the aged Reserve wine, which is 6% of the total volume and should have a significant effect on this Bubbly.
This is designated a Brut wine or non-sweet wine. With Champagne, the Brut version is typically the House Style. All Sparkling Wine Houses (Champagne wineries are referred to as houses) have a house style to differentiate themselves from other Champagne or Sparkling wine brands. They want to create a Bubbly that offers the same experience year after year. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The Piper Sonoma Brut Tasting Notes
The color is shiny silver, with a hint of amber, and plentiful bubbles. The nose is lemon, apple, peach, pear, soft spice, a nutty aroma, and crusty bread. The Piper Sonoma Brut is crisp, and balanced with good depth.
This Bubbly tastes like grapefruit, Green apple, Anjou Pear, and interesting spice, along with nectarine. The mid-palate adds ripe peach, a hint of minerality, a hint of vanilla, and chewy acidity.
- The Piper Sonoma Brut is an excellent drinking experience, well-balanced and very tasty.
- These well-priced California versions of French Champagne are extremely bang for the buck.