Jed Dunnuck (Andrea Frick) 94+ The 1982 Champagne Hors-Serie Brut, which is 60% Pinot Noir rounded out with Chardonnay, is the second bottling in the Hors-Serie releases for Piper-Hiedsieck, having released the 1971 edition in 2021. Although it is certainly opulent, it is fresh and open with ripe apricot, honeysuckle, toasted brioche, and lemon curd. This continues to the palate, with ripe tangerine, marzipan, and spice. Though it is certainly fresh, this is a wine to drink over the relative near-term to see it at its peak. 2500 bottles were produced, and 500 gift packs are being released with the addition of the 1982 Sauvage. Drink 2022-2030.<!--more-->Emilien Boutillat took over as Chef de Cave for Regis Camus in 2018. A native to Champagne, Mr. Boutillat has a versatile background in winemaking, having worked for several wineries across the globe, including at such prestigious estates as Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux and Peter Michael in Sonoma, California. He also spent time in Chile, Châteauneuf du Pape, and Franschhoek, South Africa, where he made Cap Classique (sparkling wines). There are several exciting new releases from the house, including the most recent, the second release of Hors-Serie from 1982. This is a reinterpretation of the previously released cuvée Sauvage, except disgorged 30 years later in 2022. Mr. Boutillat also selected to use wine from magnums of Piper-Heidsieck 1982 to top up the bottles of Hors-Serie after disgorgement, as the liqueur d’expedition. There were 2500 bottles produced, and the house is putting together 500 gift packs that will offer a side by side of the 1982 Brut Sauvage and the 1982 Hors-Serie. These two unique expressions are a treat to taste simultaneously, though they offer very different applications at the table. (Drink between 2022 - 2030)
Decanter 94 pts! The second rendition of this late-disgorged cuvée has a lively first nose of candied lemon, hints of lime and smoke, alongside quince, apple and spring flowers; with aeration, notes of almonds and almond flowers come to the fore. On the palate, there is a nervy tension that energises its fine, crystalline texture. This is an upright and elegant Champagne with a mouthwatering, long and airy finish. After some time in the glass, it evolves towards notes of smoke, flint, chalk and vanilla. A sumptuous Champagne, now at its peak, but which could be kept for another five years. Disgorged: January 2002. Dosage: g/L. (Drink between 2023 - 2027)
The Hors-Serie is an exceptional bottle from Piper Heidsieck and is the second vintage ever to be released, the first being 1971. Hors-Serie is a modern reinterpretation of the 1982 Brut Sauvage that Piper released in the 90s. While the 1982 Brut Sauvage spent ten years on the lees, the Hors-Serie spent a massive 39 years on the lees before it was disgorged. What an undertaking to store Champagne for decades before releasing them, and this goes beyond what could be considered a regular oenotique release. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, this was disgorged with a 4-gram dosage, and the liqueur de dosage was made from magnums of 1982 Champagne that Piper had in storage so that it would not disrupt or throw the wine off balance. This extra brut Dosage really amplifies the freshness and vibrancy and complements the more aged and nuanced notes that come with older Champagne. It is also an enigma because older releases from Champagne houses tend to have much higher dosage levels. That was the trend in Champagne many years ago, and it wasn't until recently that extra brut became more popular. This is a unique experience to try a Champagne from 1982 that has a lower dosage and was just disgorged. 1982 itself was a fantastic vintage for Champagne, and we have had countless great examples from this vintage as one of the best from the 80s. The Hors-Serie is incredibly complex and expressive, with an excellent presence of fruit that gradually develops to reveal notes of Mirabelle plums, kumquats, dried pineapple, and fresh quince before hints of blueberry and coffee beans, leading to spicy aromas of ginger and bergamot tea that temper the vintage's vivacious character. The palate sees that same great fruit highlighted by a creaminess reminiscent of wild honey, while smoky accents of coffee beans and toast balance out the wine's minerality. The taut fresh mouthfeel is surprising and finishes long with a subtle touch of cocoa and Mirabelle brandy, completing this travel through time. We have the only bottles of this new release available, and for the serious Champagne fans, this is one to consider.