Rare Champagne pays homage to the glory days of the royal court at Versailles when founder Florens-Louis Heidsieck presented his first ever ‘prestige cuvée’ to Marie Antoinette in 1785, declaring that he wanted to make a ‘cuvée worthy of a queen’. A century later a great tradition was founded when Russian Tsar Alexander III’s jeweller – a certain Pierre-Karl Fabergé – designed an opulent, bejewelled bottle for the house. The unique bottle shape is adorned with its distinctive gold casing, as a tribute to its glamorous beginnings.
Rare cuvées are only produced in supernatural years. Rare champagne millesime 2008 is only the eleventh vintage of Rare ever created, since 1976, therefore living up to its name.
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1976||Rare Champagne Millésime 1999|
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1979||Rare Champagne Millésime 2002|
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1985||Rare Champagne Millésime 2006|
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1988||Rare Champagne Millésime 2007|
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1990||Rare Champagne Millésime 2008|
|Rare Champagne Millésime 1998|
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.
As the guardian of the Rare Champagne style, Régis Camus selects the vineyards according to their expression rather than their rank in the scale of Premiers and Grand Crus. This blending approach contributes to the complex, distinguished, and yet pure style of Rare Champagne. He thinks outside the box, choosing Chardonnay grapes from the Montagne de Reims, more traditionally recognised for Pinot Noir, giving the wine freshness and precise minerality. He prefers the Pinot Noir grapes from the Montagne de Reims as well (for instance Verzy or Aÿ) for their sheer intensity and powerful silky texture.
“For me, Rare Millésime 2008 embodies the infinite, with its unlimited, rich, constantly present youth and freshness. These sensations intertwine on the palate in a constant cycle of flavours, each more precise and harmonious than the one before. While already a pleasure to drink, this vintage acquired an exceptional complexity and mineral character, punctuated with notes of exotic spices, promising infinite longevity”
Rare Champagne head winemaker, Régis Camus
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Chardonnay: Avize, Oger, Villers-Marmery | Pinot Noir: Verzy
Grape Varieties: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
Ageing: 10 years on the lees
Dosage: 8.5 g/l
Disgorged: November 2019
Drink: Now to 2035+
Essi Avellan MW EssiAvellan.com | 96→99/100
“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.’”
Jancis Robinson JancisRobinson.com | 17.5/20
“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 Perignon 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.. ”