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Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002
In 2011 both Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck were bought by EPI Group headed by Christopher Descours, he has pumped significant finance into the companies allowing them to grow their vineyard holdings, grape purchasing and production. The brands are now growing their sales fast after many decades of decline. Today, production occurs alongside sister company Charles Heidsieck in an ultra-modern functional wine-making facility on the southern outskirts of Reims. Their characteristics differ quite considerably, with Piper opting for a fruitier and lighter style of base wines.
Piper-Heidsieck Rare is a truly unique prestige cuvée. In the summer of 1976, an unprecedented heatwave struck France, the likes of which the Champagne region had never experienced before. Piper-Heidsieck's winemaking team began to wonder: could it be possible to create a cuvée given the remarkable conditions? Taming the natural forces was no easy task and when assemblage was complete and the final blend bottled, the team were so proud of the final product, they called it Rare. A testament to exceptional vintages where nature unleashes its forces, Rare cuvées are only produced in supernatural years. Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 is only the seventh vintage of Piper-Heidseick Rare ever created.
This is one of just twelve Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 Methuselah's in existence. After 13 years on the lees, eight 75cl bottles of Rare 2002 were disgorged in May 2016 and decanted into this 6L Methuselah, which was subsequently laid in the cellars for another 2 years post-disgorgement ageing. The Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 Methuselah is housed in a stylish wooden presentation box and is exclusive in the UK to TFB.
News Article: In 2018, we tasted Rare 2002 Methuselah with Regis Camus, Chef de Cave, read the report here.
Weather: The 2002 vintage shaped up magnificently over the spring, with no significant frost and near-perfect flowering. Then followed a summer marked by long, sunny periods interspersed with regular cloudy and rainy spells. The vines were in good health and the dehydration of the grape berries helped them reach new heights of ripeness. Generally considered one of the best harvests in the last twenty years.
Wine Competition Trophies:
International Wine Challenge 2018 - Champion of Champions’ Trophy
International Wine Challenge 2017 - Champion of Champions’ Trophy
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 - Best in Show
Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 - Best in Show
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Chardonnay: Avize, Oger, Villers-Marmery | Pinot Noir: Verzy
Grape Varieties: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
Ageing: 13 years on the lees
Disgorged: May 2016
Dosage: 9.5 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030
Tasting Note: A yellow gold colour with a fine bead of bubbles. Initial citrus notes give way to more exotic fruits of mango and kiwi on the nose. Great depth on the palate with honeyed notes and a creamy texture. Full-bodied and nicely balanced with lime and exotic fruit flavour throughout. A long finish of pineapple and candied ginger.
In 2011 both Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck were bought by EPI Group headed by Chritopher Descours, he has pumped significant finance into the companies allowing them to grow their vineyard holdings, grape purchasing and production. The brands are now growing their sales fast after many decades of decline. Today, production occurs alongside sister company Charles Heidsieck in an ultra-modern functional wine-making facility on the southern outskirts of Reims.
Their characteristics differ quite considerably, with Piper opting for a fruitier and lighter style of base wines. In recent times, the House has shifted from royal accolades to becoming a favourite amongst celebrity stars. Indeed, the legendary Marilyn Monroe famously declared in 1953: “I go to bed with a few drops of Chanel No. 5 and I wake up each morning to a glass of Piper-Heidsieck; it warms me up.”
The prestige cuvée Rare Champagne became its own brand in September 2018. Previously labelled, marketed and sold under the Piper-Heidsieck name, Rare Champagne is now managed and labelled independently. Previous Piper-Heidsieck Cellar Master Régis Camus has subsequently assumed the new role of Cellar Master for Rare Champagne.
Cellar Master: Émilien Boutillat
Winery Location: Reims | Champagne, France
Champagne Region: Montagne de Reims
Annual Production (bottles): 8,000,000
The mousse seems less fine than the old Charles Heidsiecks we have just been tasting. Straw gold. Intense and rather Dom Pérignon-like on the nose. Then on the palate it’s amazingly rich and tropical. Before slimming down into the corset of freshness. Lots of potential and tight and tense.”
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