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Singapore Airlines brings Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Champagne to Business Class

Vintage Piper-Heidsieck in Business Class on Singapore Airlines has finally run dry, but its replacement is a pretty impressive Essentiel Extra Brut, now alternating with Charles Heidsieck on long-haul flights.

Back in October 2021, Singapore Airlines introduced a vintage Champagne in Business Class on selected flights, in the form of a Piper-Heidsieck Brut 2012, which until recently has remained an option you might see on board instead of Charles Heidsieck when flying long-haul with the carrier.

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For the vintage lovers, it does sadly appear that the SIA’s stocks of this well-rated drop have indeed finally run dry, and it has now been replaced with a less flashy (but still impressive) Extra Brut Champagne, also from the Piper-Heidsieck house.

Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Extra Brut N.V.

The latest Champagne joining the airline’s Business Class lineup on long-haul flights is a non-vintage Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut, a three-variety blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 36% Pinot Meunier and 19% Chardonnay.

Piper Heidsieck Essentiel. (Image: Piper-Heidsieck)

It is now being served on selected long-haul services in place of Charles Heidsieck, but the two Champagnes alternate on these flights, so you won’t know which is being poured until you get on board (sadly, it’s never both).

It’s one or the other – not both – on long-haul Singapore Airlines flights in Business Class

For the Champagne aficionados, tasting notes for this new variety are available here.

Here’s how Singapore Airlines describes the Champagne in its menus.

Essentiels is a classic multi-vintage blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, almost 20% of the Essentiels blend is made up of older reserve wines which gives the wine more complexity, richness and maturity yet still remaining fresh and bright.

Singapore Airlines

Many of our readers will recognise this Champagne from the SilverKris Business Class lounges at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, where it regularly appears as the 24/7 free-flow option for guests seeking a premium pre-flight tipple, no matter the time of day.

Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel was available during our recent visit to the T2 SilverKris Business Lounge at Changi Airport. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

As such, we’ve managed to taste test it a few times, and we have broadly positive thoughts on this one.

As an Extra Brut, the Essentiel boasts a sharp, acidic flavour profile – fresh with lively bubbles – and it stands up well to strong foods including fish and white meats.

The Champagne scores 4.0 out of 5 at wine ratings site Vivino, based on well over 3,000 user reviews.

You can pick up a bottle in Singapore for around S$80 based on our searches, though it’s not widely available commercially here, so you’re unlikely to see it on the shelves at stores like Cold Storage and FairPrice.

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If you’re interested in trying it without committing to a whole bottle, Atlas Bar in Singapore pours this one by the glass, at S$29.

Unfortunately the Essentiel is a step down from the 4.2 rating achieved by the Piper-Heidsieck 2012 Vintage Brut Champagne it is replacing on board these flights, but do remember on many long-haul services it’s the excellent 4.2-star Charles Heidsieck you’ll be getting anyway.

Piper-Heidsieck Vintage 2012 is sadly a thing of the past in SIA Business Class. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Singapore Airlines routes with the latest alternating Charles Heidsieck or Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel on board are those between Singapore and the following countries and regions:

  • Australia (except PER & DRW)
  • Europe & Turkey
  • New Zealand
  • USA & Canada (except SQ11/12)
Passengers in Business Class on many long-haul SIA flights will be experiencing the Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Extra Brut Champagne. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

What about regional routes?

On regional routes, Singapore Airlines is continuing to serve Henriot Souverain Brut Champagne, which has also been appearing in the SilverKris Business Class lounges recently.

Henriot Brut Souverain is still poured in SIA Business Class on regional routes, and some longer flights as far afield as Cape Town and Dubai. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Singapore Airlines routes with Henriot on board are those between Singapore and the following countries and regions:

  • Africa & Middle East
  • Australia (PER & DRW only)
  • North Asia
  • South East Asia
  • South Asia
  • USA (SQ11/12 only)

Champagne preference and quality is a very subjective topic, but Henriot really isn’t a favourite of ours, despite picking up a 4.0 Vivino rating. For us it has a long, creamy (almost buttery) finish, which isn’t our preference.

Indeed after the welcome glass on board flights with Henriot served, we tend to switch straight to wine, rather than have another glass of bubbly after takeoff, like we would with Charles Heidsieck or Piper, for example.

Come back Laurent-Perrier on regional flights, all is forgiven! Just our opinion though.

What about First Class Champagne?

As we recently reported, Singapore Airlines is now offering three Champagne choices in its Suites and First Class cabins for the first time, with the addition of a 2018 Vintage Vilmart Grand Cellier D’Or label from boutique Champagne house Vilmart & Cie.

This has been on board since 1st June 2023, and is offered in addition to the year-round Krug and 2008 or 2012 Tattinger Comtes de Champagne, for a great lineup on all flights – even the shortest ones with a First Class cabin like Singapore to Jakarta.

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SIA has confirmed to Mainly Miles that this forms part of the carrier’s new programme “A Celebration of Champagne”, which will offer five new Champagne labels on rotation, with each served for two months in addition to the regular pair.

The 2018 Vilmart Grand Cellier D’Or will be on board from now until 31st July 2023, after which the ‘guest label’ will rotate across the following selections:

  • August & September 2023
    2016 Geoffroy Volupté Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne Premier Cru (4.3 on Vivino)
  • October & November 2023
    2018 Henri Giraud Multi-Vintage (4.5 on Vivino)
  • December 2023 & January 2024
    Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires (4.6 on Vivino)
  • February & March 2024
    Egly-Ouriet V.P Extra Brut Champagne Grand Cru ‘Ambonnay’ N.V. (4.4 on Vivino)

Summary

Singapore Airlines is no longer serving a vintage Champagne in Business Class on selected long-haul flights, with stocks of the Piper-Heidsieck Brut 2012 presumably now depleted, but this label has been replaced with a decent alternative – the Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel Extra Brut N.V.

This will already be familiar to many of our readers thanks to its regular appearance in the SilverKris Business Class lounges at Changi, and it will still alternate with one of our favourites – Charles Heidsieck – in Business Class on these longer services.

What do you think of SIA’s latest Business Class Champagne? Let us know in the comments section below.

(Cover Photo: Piper-Heidsieck)

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5 comments

  1. Damn I never got to try the vintage one but my wife had it on MAN-SIN in J last year and said it was good. New one seems meh 🫤

    1. The new one is a nice drop actually – I like it. Still prefer Charles, of course, but no major complaints with PH Essentiel.

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