Taster’s Voice

It’s not every day that you’re surrounded by champagne aficionados anxious to share their thoughts on a new line of bubbly. This month’s tasters, who spend their time selecting beverages for and educating wine drinkers, were part of a Piper-Heidsieck-sponsored event in Chicago. We asked them their impressions of Piper-Heidsieck’s Brut Rosé Sauvage, to be released this month. In addition to the unique flavor profile, the Rosé Sauvage’s vibrant color also piqued our tasters’ interest. Surprisingly, the bottle’s pink label and packaging was designed to appeal to men, say the event’s hosts, and has caught the attention of trendy fashion magazines, touting it as the “bubbly-to-buy” this fall.
Sumptuous Sauvage
Champagne Piper-Heidsieck recently introduced Brut Rosé Sauvage, a rosé champagne that incorporates fruit from 50 crus, which is similar to the brand’s Cuvée Brut, but gets its color from added red still wine. Featuring cherry notes and a citrus fragrance, the Sauvage is slightly acidic with hints of strawberry, plum and blood orange flavors, according to the company. The champagne was introduced on Oct. 1 and is available nationally.
This month’s contenders: Phillip, assistant manager of a wine retailer Patrick, wine educator
Here’s the skinny…
“The packaging is interesting, however, it's very much like other Piper-Heidsieck champagnes. It might not be different enough in looks from the Piper Brut to distinguish itself on the shelf.” – Phillip
“It’s flatter than the Champagne; I thought the label was old-fashioned.” – Patrick
“It has hints of berry. I don't know if you lined them up and I tried them all blindfolded if I could pick out the rosé, but seeing the color influences my sense of taste.” – Phillip
“The nose was more powerful than elegant and didn't show much of the biscuity-toasty character one normally finds in Champagnes aged that long. On the palate it was a powerful Champagne with great structure. “ – Patrick
Would you buy it?
“Yes, the ripe berry characters and the inviting color make it attractive.” – Phillip
“Yes, but only for special occasions [because of the $60 price.]”  – Patrick
Last call.
“Its appearance is a deep, dark rosé; it’s atypical – most Rosé champagnes I have seen don't actually look like the
Pinot Noir from which they are derived.” – Phillip
“I was stunned by the appearance. It’s the deepest young Champagne rosé I have ever seen and, paradoxically or not, this might put off Champagne drinkers who are used to lighter hues. I think it would best be served with a white- or dark-meat meal rather than as an aperitif.” – Patrick