Régis Camus writes in small chapters, the history of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne. He introduces us to some cuvées.
A guardian of the temple, keen on quality, demanding by nature and willing to share his experience with Piper-Heidsieck, Régis Camus has decided to write a new chapter in the company’s history book. The first quality improvements showed in 2006. « We have changed category in order to provide our wines with stronger aromas with a taste of apple, pears and a touch of citrus fruits. We have also restructured the puzzle of assemblies, and changed our perspectives. We now work with over one hundred vintage wines. »
Régis camus considers the Millésime as a year photography. « We only work on a millésime that truely represent what the year was like, and we sometimes do not make them but keep them in reserve. »
At Piper-Heidsieck, the 2006 vintage is made of 51% Chardonnay and 49% Black Pinot in Grands and Premiers Crus. Wit its 10 grams dose, it is pleasant, generous and heavy in mouth. It is indeed a pleasant vintage that fits the year well. Much different from the 2004 Millésime, « sort of an Antique Marathon runner… » explains de Cellar master.
Régis Camus only seldom uses such sport metaphores to describe his wines. But one can feel his desire to associate power and freshness, strength to fluidity, even unctuousness, through strong dosage totally accepted. « They are absolutely elegance and lightness compatible. » Furthermore, he has started vinifications one grape variety after the other and plays around thanks to his beautiful barrel cellar built in 1995.
The Cellar Master has picked the year 2002 to elaborate a prestigious and very classy cuvée, from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Blanck Pinot. Called Rare, the prestigious Piper-Heidsieck cuvée puts forward a savourous and complex explosions of tastes (Mango, Kiwis, pine apple, white Pepper…), as well as a mineral look typical of big time cuvées. It was first released for the company’s bi centenial anniversary in 1985, in a gold and diamond decorated bottle created by Van Cleef&Arpels, inspired by the bottle designed by Fabergé. The sticker celebrates this event, a milestone in the company’s history.
« About twelve years ago, Rosé was out of fashion. It is now unavoidable. » says Régis Camus, who deliberately chose to make Rosés with heavy tones, similar to the Riceys.
Wild Rosé, or Rosé Sauvage takes advantage of a fair share of fruity Champagne red wines, largely composed of black Pinots and meuniers from the high and small Reims mountain. « It is a dessert wine. It goes well with a strawberry pie, a canard à l’orange or even asian meals. » stresses Régis Camus.
Now run since 2011 by the Descours family, Piper-Heidsieck pursues its rebirth under Cécile Bonnefonds management. « I am fortunate to work with one of France’s big boss, Christophe Descours. He is willing to take as much time as necessary to bring the company at the highest level. »