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Rare 2008

Mix 12
£188.00
Mix 6
£190.00
Per Bottle
£194.00

No gift box

Mix 12
£178.00
Mix 6
£180.00
Per Bottle
£184.00
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Deliver Fri 3rd Feb Same Day - cost based on mileage from Islington
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Deliver Mon 6th Feb DHL Next Working Day from £9.80
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Description & Technical Information
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Piper-Heidsieck's roots trace back to Florens-Louis Heidsieck, who created the original company of Heidsieck & Co. Christian Heidsieck joined the venture alongside Guillaume Piper and once Florens-Louis died in 1828, the duo decided to continue the adventure side by side, founding Champagne Piper-Heidsieck.

In 2011 both Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck were bought by EPI Group headed by Christopher Descours, he has added 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. The brand started as Piper-Heidsieck Rare and in 2019 this became simply Rare. These cuvées are only produced in these exceptional years: 1976, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007 & 2008. In 2018 a new rose cuvee was released with 2007, now followed with 2008 and 2012.

Weather: A mild, rainy winter, followed by an unpredictable and dreary spring, with a month of June marked by an abrupt drop in temperature and continuing most of the summer until the 15 August. And then, a miracle of nature: the ominous and extremely rainy weather changed radically to become sunny and dry with warm days and cold nights, lasting throughout the harvest in mid-September.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Chardonnay: Avize, Oger, Villers-Marmery | Pinot Noir: Verzy
Grape Varieties: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
Lees Ageing: 10 years
Dosage: 8.5 g/l
Disgorged: November 2019
Drink: Now to 2035+

Tasting Note: Exquisitely elegant, radiantly fruity and mineral, but still holding back plenty. It is almost like a time bomb having so much fruit and vitality to it that it feels near immortal. Beautifully detailed nose with fresh fruity profile with pineapple, lemon, sweet vanilla and roasted coffee beans meeting liquorice and smoky almonds. The fruitiness is pure, ripe yet crunchy. On the palate it is tightly knit and driven with its crisp acidity perfectly bound to the radiant fruitiness. Lacey texture with shows tension, the wine finishes to a palate-cleansingly fresh salty tang. Really refined vintage of Rare with majestic longevity ahead. Tasting note from Essi Avellan MW
Champagne Champagne Rare Overview
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Expert Reviews
97/100
Tom Hewson
“70% Chardonnay from Avize, Oger and Villers-Marmery, 30% Pinot Noir from Verzy. There is not even a hint of a crack in the armour of Rare 2008 yet; it manages to hold the imperious structure of the year without seeming 'difficult', as some 2008s do at the moment. The signatures of mango cream and exotic notes melt into nougat and fresh ground nut, sparks of gunpower and succulent citrus confit. Some coffee richness is coming too. The 08 acidity feels like a bit of a kicker, but it is never out on a limb or threatening austerity. A finely tuned, immaculately-built time machine which shows all the signs of remaining beautifully integrated over the long term.”
96 → 99/100
Essi Avellan MW
““Tasting Rare 2008 upon launch, it is exquisitely elegant, radiantly fruity and mineral, but still holding back plenty. It is almost like a time bomb having so much fruit and vitality to it that it feels near immortal. Beautifully detailed nose with fresh fruity profile with pineapple, lemon, sweet vanilla and roasted coffee beans meeting liquorice and smoky almonds. The fruitiness is pure, ripe yet crunchy. On the palate it is tightly knit and driven with its crisp acidity perfectly bound to the radiant fruitiness. Lacey texture with shows tension, the wine finishes to a palate-cleansingly fresh salty tang. Really refined vintage of Rare with majestic longevity ahead.””
98/100
Essi Avellan
“With over two thirds of Chardonnay from Avize and Oger in the Côte des Blancs and Villers-Marmery on the Montagne de Reims, this always comes with freshness, elegance and sweet, exuberant toasty notes. In the cool 2008 vintage, Verzy Pinot Noir further amplifies the notions of linearity and tension, making this a hugely slowly ageing Rare. Shiny lemon colour. The nose is instantly impressive: deliciously toasty, with ginger and coffee playing with pineapple, blood orange and yellow peach. With time in glass, it opens up gloriously. It is still holding back a lot on the nose, but it appears utterly sophisticated already. There is such silkiness to the linear, driven, super-saline palate. Really youthful still, this is a magnificent Rare. Dosage 10g/l”
17.5/20
Jancis Robinson
“70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from 11 crus (including Villers-Marmery, Vertus, Montgueux for Chardonnay and Aÿ, Verzy and Ambonnay for Pinot Noir). No oak. Full malo. Régis Camus left this blend on lees for 10 years and then aged it for a year after disgorgement in November 2019 with a dosage of 10 g/l. Interesting how difficult it is for this wine to shed its relationship with Piper-Heidsieck on search engines.
Brilliant pale coppery colour. Mmmm! So concentrated and heady with a huge array of aromas including, amazingly, coconut – but not in a tarty way. Masses of tense lime fruit aromas. Very dense nose. Lifted and refreshing and this seems much more youthful than12 years old. It does rather remind me of Dom Pérignon with its concentration and density but I don't suppose that comment will necessarily be welcome with the winemaker. It's just so electric in texture. Truly an exciting, luxurious champagne.”
97/100
Alison Napjus
“Like a stallion out of the gate, this shows an initial explosion of power, in the form of mouthwatering flavours and fine texture, before quickly settling into an elegant gait. The racy acidity is seamlessly knit, buoying the lacy mousse and flavours of cassis, toasted brioche and tangerine, with accents of candied ginger, hazelnut and fleur de sel lingering on the long, creamy finish. Drink now through 2035.”
96/100
Roger Voss
“The new release of this producer`s prestige cuvée comes in its usual beautifully sculpted bottle. The Champagne, from a great vintage in the region, is just approaching maturity still showing minerality from the high amount of Chardonnay in the blend. Nutty flavours are creeping in, keeping the great texture adding complexity. Drink this very fine wine now although it will also age further.”
96/100
Anne Krebiehl MW
“Lemon zest frames the creamy richness on the nose that has hints of chalk and coconut macaroon but also reveals a beautiful depth that evokes summer rain on limestone soils. The palate comes with all the precision and exquisite freshness of 2008 but encapsulates a truffle- like complexity at its concentrated core: there is a floral hit of peony, something rich reminiscent of milk chocolate ganache and more of that virile and pervasive lemon freshness. This is glorious and somehow manages to convey great richness within that elegant and characteristic framework set by the amazing 2008 vintage.”
93+/100
William Kelley
“The 2008 Brut Cuvée Rare, now re-baptized as "Rare Champagne," continues to evolve at a glacial pace. Offering up aromas of citrus oil, freshly baked bread and wet stones, it's medium to full-bodied, taut and incisive, with a tangy spine of acidity and a pretty pinpoint mousse, but much in the way of texture or amplitude has yet to emerge. While I continue to think that this has the makings of a very attractive bottling, continued patience is advised.”
See All Reviews
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Awards
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IWC Gold 2022
CSWWC 2022 Gold
CSWWC 2021 Best In Class
CSWWC 2021 Gold
IWC Gold 2021
CSWWC 2020 Gold
News Articles
  1. New Release: Rare Champagne Millésime 2008.

    New Release: Rare Champagne Millésime 2008.

    June 8, 2021

    New release: Rare Champagne Millésime 2008. Rare cuvées are only produced in supernatural years. Rare 2008 is only the eleventh vintage of Rare ever created, since 1976, therefore living up to its name.
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