I thought I knew all about Piper Sonoma when I was offered the Piper Sonoma Rosé and Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs for review. However, when I read the notes they sent me I added more details to my knowledge including that the winery was founded over 40 years ago, the wines are made the same way Champagne Piper-Heidsieck is made, and they have been consistently working with over 20 growers using sustainable methods.
(Photo above are several cocktail recipe cards that came with my samples.)
Founded in 1980 by the Marquis d’Aulan family, direct descendants of the renowned Piper family, Piper Sonoma has been crafting sparkling wines for over 40 years. The wines are made in the Méthode Traditionnelle style — the same process used by its sister maison, Champagne Piper-Heidsieck — but with a personality that is pure Sonoma. Here creativity and individuality can run rampant, tempered only by an ingrained respect for the land and community.
Under the expert guidance of long-time winemaker Keith Hock, our winemaking team collaborates with more than 20 growers, including esteemed families like Young, Dutton, and Ledbetter, who have been supplying us sustainably farmed grapes for decades.
Tasting (My notes are in italics.)
Piper Sonoma Rosé NV, Sonoma County, $23 SRP
Small parcels of Chardonnay (61%), Pinot Noir (33%) and Pinot Blanc (6%) were handpicked and brought directly to the crush pad. Each parcel was pressed and fermented separately, creating an extensive selection of base wines to choose from. The cuvée was en tirage for 32 months prior to disgorgement. A small percentage of older reserve wine was included in the liqueur d’expedition adding further complexity and texture. This Rosé is pale pink in color, showing aromas of freshly picked cranberry, red fruit, tangerine and guava. The palate is bursting with red fruit and citrus, with a zippy acidity and a long finish.
EB: For wine geeks I was a little tickled at my first observation of the bottle: the cage was a pretty rose colored metal. (The “cage” is the metal contraption between the foil and the cork, used to protect the cork – and you – from any unexpected accidents as you remove the cork.) This new-to-me color got me in the mood right away to try the wine. Greeted by lots of bubbles, and then aromas that included raspberry, cream and what I can only describe as a “cool” minerality. When I tasted the wine I noted more: both lemon-lime and cream sodas, lots of red fruit like raspberry and cherry, medium acidity and that cool minerality I felt on the nose became a cool, clean and lengthy finish. We would enjoy the remains of the wine later with grilled chicken, acorn squash and air-fried potatoes.
Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs NV, Sonoma County, $23 SRP
Small blocks of Chardonnay (90%) and Pinot Blanc (10%) were handpicked and brought directly to the crush pad. Each parcel was pressed and fermented separately, creating an extensive selection of base wines to choose from. The cuvée was en tirage for 36 months prior to disgorgement. Finally, a small percentage of older reserve wine was included in the dosage. This Blanc de Blancs is pale straw in color, with tiny bubbles and aromas of green apple, citrus and white flowers. The palate is crisp and dry with a long mouthwatering finish.
EB: Pale gold in color, lots of bubbles clustered to the sides and middle of my wine glass. On the nose I was reminded of lemongrass, pineapple in its own juices, Mandarin orange slices, white peach, wet stones and crusty French bread with unsalted butter. Off to a good start! On the palate I had a full mouthfeel of freshly made lemonade, more of that peach as well as cantaloupe melon. The finish just went on and on, with dancing acidity and fresh fruit. We enjoyed the wine with a Mediterranean styled hummus and pita chips.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.