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100 Best Champagnes for 2011 -
FINE Champagne Magazine Selects the World’s Best Champagne – A Rare Winner

FINE Champagne Magazine, the only international publication devoted to champagne and a renowned industry authority, announces its list of the “100 Best Champagnes for 2011”.

During the year 2010 The magazine’s editorial team assessed over 1000 champagnes that are now available on the markets. After the semifinal, three-day blind-tasting of the top 200 champagnes, the panel selected 30 champagnes that were blind-tasted again in the finals in Reims, Champagne. In the tasting, the most important criteria were the quality of the wine and the champagne’s accessibility today. When the results were tabulated, the top ten included many familiar names but the unanimous first place winner was Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002.

“Rare was convincingly the winner of both our semi-final and finals. We have been impressed with the development in the quality of Piper-Heidsieck wines over the recent years and Rare’s performance was in line with that. Rare from the superb 2002 vintage is a phenomenal champagne; firm, vibrant, pure yet charming and layered. A prestige cuvée that would deserve to be much better known.” FINE Champagne Magazine editor Essi Avellan MW comments.

“Since 1976, the House has only released 8 vintages of Rare: 1976, 1979,1985, 1988, 1990, 1998 en Magnum, 1999 and 2002,” says Régis Camus, chef de caves and chief winemaker at Maison Piper-Heidsieck. “Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 was my first Rare vintage so I am particularly honoured to hear that it has been selected as the number one champagne in the world by FINE Champagne Magazine.”



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The Story

Since 1976, the House has only released 8 vintages of Rare: 1976, 1979,1985, 1988, 1990, 1998 en Magnum, 1999 and 2002,” says Régis Camus, chef de caves and chief winemaker at Maison Piper-Heidsieck. “Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 was my first Rare vintage so I am particularly honoured to hear that it has been selected as the number one champagne in the world by FINE Champagne Magazine.”

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Vintage 2002

A prestigious, classical prestige cuvee from 2002 vintage – structured, full-bodied and bursting with fruit. Elaborated with a majority of Chardonnays from the Montagne de Reims region (70%) and complemented with Pinot Noir (30%) from the same region, this wine is a blend of 17 crus which matured for over seven years in the House’s cellars. A 2002 vintage synonymous with richness and generosity.

On the eye
Dazzling, crystal-clear, citrine yellow gold enlivened by a delicate, shimmering effervescence. 

On the nose
The fruit emerges as delicate, golden, muted exotic fruits – mango and kiwifruit – and dried fruit – hazelnut, almond and fig. A touch of iodine enhances this wine’s flawless nose. The mild spices reflect the wine’s depth – white pepper, smoked tea and cocoa.

On the palate
A wine with depth but also honed, precise, in harmony. Voluptuous delicacy with meringue notes. Subtle nuances evoke distant lands – mint tea, lime, kumquat and exotic fruits such as pineapple and candied ginger.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

76 tasting notes

Tasting note


Medium, Gold and Clear


Long, Round and Lingering


Toasty, Coffee, Citrus and Nutty


Intense, Refined, Fresh and Pure




High in Acidity, Low alcohol content, Low tannin, Complex, Balanced, Well-structured, Developing, Full-bodied, Elegant, Fresh, Harmonious and Dry


Sophisticated and Excellent

Written Notes

Medium-deep lemon Soft and sweet vanilla-laden, boosted toast and coffee nose with a gunpowder and fireworks edge Zesty yet velvety palate turning towards oily, mature richness Seductively sweet and exuberantly fruity Ready to impress 2015-2022 Pure breed
  • 94p

Green-yellow colour. Intense, layered, rich nose with creamy and roasted coffee aromas. Dry, crisp palate with firm and solid mineral structure. Fresh lemony bite with  harmonious roasted coffee flavours with the gentle toastiness. Long intense finish. Champagne with great energy.

  • 93p
You have apple, pear, flowers and spices on the enticing bouquet, and this beauty is continuing to blossom. It opens with great elegance, depth, light vivacious bubbles dappling the palate, citrus giving way to a gentle smokiness past the mid palate. It builds smoothly to a complex, vibrant, generous, stimulating finish with some nuts and spices lingering. The crisp acidity and overall elegance is striking, this is a wonderful Champagne with considerable development ahead. 95 Points
  • 95p
Mild aromas of brioche with a hint of lemon. Abundant but refined mousse. Supple, medium weight. Excellent apple- pear fruit with a long and lovely finish. Framed with brioche and some spice notes. Very well balanced with acidity but no sense of astringence. Elegant throughout. Excellent! 97 points
  • 97p



Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality


Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory


Glass time


Drinking temperature


Other wines from this producer

Brut Florens Louis

Brut Rosé

Cuvée Brut

Cuvée Florens-Louis

Cuvée Sublime

Essentiel Cuvée Brut

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut

Rare Rose

Rosé Sauvage



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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

"Wonderful Dom Perignon tasting, 16 vintages agains other great champagnes from the same vintages and the best champagne was 1979 Pommery Cuvée Louise:)..average 98 points!...very close 1973 Cristal and Dom Perignon 1996 enoteque."

5y 6m ago

 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

"first part of the worlds best champagne 2013 selection."

5y 7m ago

 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

"Xmas wines. Rare and DP 96 rosé are nice "

6y 3m ago

 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

"Charles vintage 2000 is amazing. "

6y 7m ago

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