x
  • Country ranking ?

    549
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    Sushi

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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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

The noble origin of Rare Champagne dates back to a tribute to Marie-Antoinette and expresses its revolutionary spirit fight against the trivialisation of vintages.

Over the last forty years, Rare Champagne has only declared eleven vintages, the most demanding in Champagne, all in limited production.

Since 1976, the House has only released 8 vintages of Rare: 1976, 1979,1985, 1988, 1990, 1998 en Magnum, 1999, 2002 and now 2004,” 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.”

 

Each Rare Millésime is born from the struggle with nature. For instance, Rare Millésime 1976 was created after an exceptional drought, Rare Millésime 1985 following a terrible black frost.

As the guardian of the Rare Champagne style, Régis Camus the most awarded Cellar Master of the century*, selects the vineyards according to their expression rather than their rank in the scale of Premiers and Grand Crus. This uncommon blending approach contributes to the complex, distinguished, and yet pure style of Rare Champagne.

In honour of the occasion, Pierre-Karl Fabergé, jeweller to the Czar Alexander III, designed a spectacular enamelled bottle. Unfortunately, it was impossible to reproduce this decor with the techniques of the time. A label with a faithful reproduction of the design was therefore placed on the bottles of this exclusive edition.

In the 18th century, Florens-Louis Heidsieck presented his very first prestige Cuvée, ‘worthy of a Queen’, to Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, in a characteristically aristocratic bottle: the Pinte Majeure.
In those days, glass blowers made by hand the most precious bottles of Champagne, intended for the aristocracy. Thus, the asymmetrical shoulders of the bottle emphasize its singular personality.
Rare Champagne modernized the original shape and added a golden lacy crown that asserts the radiance of the wine.
Black and gold, it truly contains a charismatic gem. Black symbolizes the dominant Pinot Noir grapes while gold represents the luminous shine of Chardonnay.
Thanks to its long elegant neck, a unique whisper rises while serving.
Today, the soft curves of the design pay tribute to Marie-Antoinette, the first modern icon, famous for her ability to set new standards.

 

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Wine Information

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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Vintage 2002

A cold winter and a mild late spring cued for a perfect June allowing early and fast flowering. Outstanding weather conditions prevailed and the season went on without dramatic turns. Rains in August raised concerns regarding gray rot, but finally sunshine and dry conditions throughout September resulted in an abundant crop of largely healthy fruit (11,930 kg/ha). Dehydration due to wind further aided in achieving perfect ripeness and additional concentration. This, and the cool nights, helped in retaining fresh acidity and, despite the ripeness (10.3% potential alcohol), the wines did not suffer from heaviness or a lack of life. A near-perfect vintage, which produced balanced Champagnes consistently around the region. The best show an impeccable combination of freshness, power, structure and finesse. However, some have matured aromatically quicker than expected and are already past their peak. 2002 produced an abundance of spectacular champagnes, such as Dom Pérignon (the entire range), Krug Vintage and Clos du Mesnil, Piper-Heidsieck Rare, Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Ruinart Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé, Salon Le Mesnil and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, to name a few.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

98 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium, Gold and Clear

ending

Long, Round and Lingering

flavors

Toasty, Coffee, Citrus and Nutty

nose

Intense, Refined, Fresh and Pure

recommend

Yes

taste

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

Verdict

Sophisticated and Excellent

Written Notes

A fabulous champagne in glorious form. Hazelnut, stonefruit with a creamy supple texture. Ripe notes, but this is finely balanced and exhibits great length. A hedonistic style that lingers with intent. Drinking superbly now, but there is no rush. 98.

  • 98p
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

A gorgeous wine that's a legend in the making, the 2002 Rare Brut is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, with just under 10 grams of dosage. Offering incredible notes of stone fruits, brioche, white flowers, and hints of toasted nuts, this flat out awesome wine is concentrated and opulent, yet still dances on the palate with vibrant acidity and great, great finish. It's going to drink beautifully for another two to three decades. Bravo! This cuvee has only been made in 1976, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2002, and in 2007.

  • 97p

This vintage is traveling well and is still extremely composed on the nose and palate. Pleasantly complex, there's plenty to like here. Lemon curd, peach and light toffee aromas and flavors are locked in with bright, focused acid structure. Drink now.

  • 93p

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 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

  • 98p

Evolving lemony colour. The superby rich coffee and tropical fruit nose comes with impeccable toasty generosity and dried fruit complexity. Lovely plushness and fleshy, chewy fruitiness. Long and concentrated finish full of age-mellowed fruit.

  • 95p

Intense yellow colour. Rich, toasty complex nose with roasted coffee. Dry, fresh and rich palate with lovely complexity and layers of flavours – toastiness, creaminess, buttery nuances. Great concentration with long-lasting and elegant finish. JL 94p (4/2018)

  • 94p
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
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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Best buy

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

6

Other wines from this producer

Brut Florens Louis

Brut Rosé

Cuvée Brut

Cuvée Florens-Louis

Cuvée Sublime

Essentiel Blanc de Blancs Brut

Essentiel Blanc de Blancs extra brut

Essentiel Cuvée Brut

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Sauvage

Rare Rose

Rosé Sauvage

Vintage

Inside Information

When we tasted this wine two years ago, I gave it a similar score (95 points), noting its seductive and complex flavors. For a 2002, the wine was already harmonious and accessible, ready to drink and structured to hold for several years. The powerful drive of the 2002 vintage seems bolder today; more about creaminess and brioche-like autolysis than fruit, it still leaves my mouth tingling with gingery freshness and brightness of acidity. If you haven’t tried Piper Rare in some time, this is worth checking out—a blend from 17 crus in the Montagne de Reims, 70 percent chardonnay, 30 percent pinot noir, built for lobster or other rich shellfish.

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Wine Moments

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

 Rare 2002  has updated wine and vintage information

2y 5m ago

 Rare 2002  has updated wine and vintage information

3y 5d ago

95p
 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."

9y 12d ago

90p
 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

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

9y 1m ago

96p
 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

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

9y 9m ago

95p
 Edward Cuvée, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Rare 2002  ( Piper-Heidsieck )

"Charles vintage 2000 is amazing. "

10y 1m ago

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