HOME > Chowhound > Wine >


Question about Heidsieck champagnes

Can anyone tell me if Piper-Heidsieck or just Heidsieck have a business relationship with the Chateau Lafite Rothchild vinyards?

Can Heidsieck Monopole Diamant Blanc Champagne be called a Chateau Lafite Rothchild champagne?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Piper-Heidsieck is owned by Remy Cointreau.

    I don't think DBR-Lafite owns any Champagne houses.

    1. No.

      Heidsieck -- the original house -- dates back to 1785. It split into Heidsieck Monopole and Piper-Heidsieck. Later, Piper split into two when "Champagne Charlie" began Charles Heidsieck & Co. in 1851.

      The various houses have since all changed hands, with Vranken owned the Heidsieck Monopole marque, and Rémy Cointreau owning both Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck (unless there's been another sale!).

      There is an Albert Rothschild Champange, and another Rothschild sparkling wine . . . IIRC, both have been sued by Lafite.

      Chateau Lafite-Rothschild does not -- CANNOT produce -- Champagne. It is located in the commune of Pauillac, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux. Even IF sparkling wine were in fact made at the chateau, it would be either a vin mousseux or, possibly, a Cremant de Bordeaux, but never a Champagne.

      5 Replies
      1. re: zin1953

        Thank you both. You've confirmed I got scammed out of $100 at a "fine-dining" restaurant I recently took my family to.

        1. re: Griller

          $100 is a fair price for that wine in a restaurant.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            $100 for "Chateau Lafite Rothschild Champagne"?

          2. re: Griller

            Before you conclusively believe you've been scammed, I would call the restaurant in question and ask them (the wine buyer or sommelier) about the Champagne -- ask them for more information about the wine. It COULD have been that you misunderstood them. It COULD have been that you were scammed. It COULD have been that THEY were scammed . . . .

            1. re: zin1953

              True. I'll do as you suggested.

        2. The OP question really is not clear. Was the Champagne in question from Heidsieck, or was it labled as Chateau Lafite? If the former, then Robert Lauriston is correct, $100 is a fair price to pay for the Diamant Blanc at a restaurant. But if it was labled as Lafite Champagne, well, you got ripped off. There is no such thing (no such legit thing). Sparkling wine made from sauvignon blanc grapes?? Heh heh, no way.

          1. Actually, Sauvignon Blanc can be, and is, used in the production of sparkling wine. Crémant de Bordeaux is an Appellation d'Origine Controlee wine that is produced according to the traditional, bottle-fermented sparkling wines; permitted grape varieties include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Carmenère; Muscadelle de Bordelais, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, as well as Colombard and Ugni Blanc.

            1. I guess I wasn't clear in my original question.

              Our server brought out the sommelier's wine "digest". It listed about eight champagnes from a high of $275 to a low of $100. It was strongly suggested I choose the $275 bottle. Yeh, sure.

              I took a short time to review the list, and noticed that a Chateau Lafite Rothchild champagne was priced at $160. I ordered that selection. A moment later our server was back with the Heidsieck. And doing a yoeman's job decorking the bottle. Something didn't set right with me so I asked to look at the bottle. No Chateau Lafite lable, only the Heidsieck Monopole id at the neck.

              I asked: I ordered the Chateau Lafite, why are you serving this? The server replied that it was the Chateau Lafite, Everyone on the wine staff checked to make sure it was the right bottle. 2 Buck Chuck, me, accepted that assurance.

              It was only later that I became suspicious.

              Does this explain the circumstance more clearly?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Griller

                So do you mind telling us what restaurant this is? I could be wrong but it sounds like they pulled a fast one on you. I've never heard of Chateau Lafite Champagne, especially if there was nothing on the bottle to indicate this. The only thing I can think of is if someone was taking poetic license by referring to it as "the Chateau Lafite of Champagnes." But that's crazy. Please tell us where this is so we can avoid it.

                1. re: Griller

                  What a bizarre story.

                  If they were trying to cheat you, it seems odd that they sold you a good wine at a fair markup.

                  1. re: Griller

                    OK, in that case, you did not get scammed vis-a-vis $$$. In a restaurant -- Robert is right -- $100 is a reasonable price for the Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Diamant Blanc.

                    But I have -- I think -- also figured out the "Lafite" part:

                    It's not "Ch. Lafite" as in Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

                    It's "Ch. Lafitte" (two "T's") as in Charles Lafitte, a Champagne house that traces its founding to 1834 (originally as Champagne George Goulet).

                  2. Robert Lauriston is right, that is a fair markup for the bottle that the OP did get, but obviously the so-called "wine staff" does not know what they are talking about. What is odd is that the OP referred to a "wine staff" as there being more than one person at this restaurant whose primary job was to handle the wine duties. No decent wine person would ever refer to a bottle of Heidsieck Champagne as Chateau anything. He also mentioned that they tried to steer him to the most expensive bottle on the list. Makes you wonder..

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: monkuboy

                      Obviously I wasn't there, and I am in no way excusing misrepresentation of a wine -- any wine -- but as I said above, I no longer think it was "Ch. Lafite" as in Chateau Lafite, but "Ch. Lafitte" as in Charles Lafitte. Both Charles Lafitte and Heidsieck & Co. Monopole are owned by Vranken, futher opening the door (at least) to some confusion somewhere along the line.

                      Again, this doesn't excuse the misrepresentation at all, and someone should point this out to the restaurant owner and/or sommelier. But even Robert Parker reported on Burgundies produced by "Domaine Laurent," when in fact "Dom. Laurent" stood for Dominique Laurent (a negociant, not a domaine).

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Even if the wine list did say Ch. Lafitte, that wouldn't explain why they presented a bottle of Heidsieck and insisted it was what was ordered.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I'm sorry -- didn't I say "I'm not excusing the misrepresentation" . . . twice?

                          Indeed, I'm not excusing anything, I am only ATTEMPTING to figure out what the #^(< "Chateau Lafite Champagne" may have been.

                          1. re: zin1953

                            I wish we had saved the itemized receipt. Hindsight is always 20/20. I'm sorry for causing such consternation, also. I am sure the listed entry for the champagne was Chateau Lafite Rothchild, because that is the only french vinyard name I would recognize. So it seems that the listing entry itself was mistaken, in some way.

                            BTW, the Heidsieck was very nice. But not $160, nice.

                            1. re: Griller

                              No consternation at all . . . I'm just trying to figure out how the restaurant could make such a stupid mistake! As I said, I was not trying to excuse them, merely trying to understand what happened.

                    2. Also, Heidsieck Monopole is a different Champagne House, and not related to Piper-Heidsieck or Heidsieck. The Diamant is their vintage bottling.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: amwf

                        Right you are, H. & Co. Monopole is owned by Vranken. Piper-H. and Charles H. are owned by Remy. Confusing.