Rare Champagne Millesime 2008  £202.11


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Only 2 In Stock750ml Champagne
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RRP £220.00
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Rare Champagne Millesime 2008

Rare Champagne transforms the obstacles of nature and glorifies the personality of an exceptional year – singular, unexpected, or wayward into an unrivalled vintage.

Over the last forty years, Rare Champagne has declared only 12 Vintages (1976, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012). All in limited series, Rare Champagne lives up to its name.

Until March 2022, Champagne legend Régis Camus was the Chef de Cave, whose meticulous winemaking has made him Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at the IWC eight times and in 2019 the CSWWC rewarded him of a Life Achievement award. Emilien Boutillat, IWC Sparkling Wine Maker of the Year 2021, is now charged with safeguarding Rare Champagne unique signature and leading the House into the future.

The wine is born out of a struggle with nature – the 1976 vintage followed a period of exceptional drought and a terrible black frost preceded the 1985 vintage. The vineyards are chosen based on their individual characteristics rather than the rank of Premiers and Grands Crus, making wines which are complex, distinguished, and pure expressions of their vintages.

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.

The current vintage available is 2008. This Champagne is a crystal-clear, light gold in colour. The initial nose shines with the pure vivacity of this vintage, showing pronounced aromas of orange blossom, hyacinth and white flowers, with notes of just-ripe Williams pear, fresh coconut, almond, and tangerine. Saline and smoky hints balance the nose perfectly. The palate is crisp and precise, with citrus and tropical fruit lingering on the long, complex finish. Rare Millésime 2008 marries 70% Chardonnay grapes, selected mainly from the Montagne de Reims region and 30% Pinot Noir in a blend of 11 crus.

The current Rosé vintage available is 2012, only the third Rosé to be released from the House. Radiant in colour, with rose quartz hues with subtle hints of blue which enhance the elegance of the champagne.

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.

Following a beginning of a year that was mild, dull and rainy, the beautiful summer coincided with a perfectly mature harvest, continuing through the first two magnificent weeks of September. 2008 is definitely an exceptional year in Champagne.

The first fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks. Once completed, the wine was racked and underwent full malolactic fermentation. Rare Millésime 2008 marries 70% Chardonnay grapes, selected mainly from the Montagne de Reims region and 30% Pinot Noir in a blend of eleven crus. The wine was kept on its lees 11 years before disgorgement, in November 2019, when a dosage of around 10g/l was added.

This Champagne is a crystal-clear, light gold in colour. The initial nose shines with the pure vivacity of this vintage, showing pronounced aromas of orange blossom, hyacinth and white flowers, with notes of just-ripe Williams pear, fresh coconut, almond, and tangerine. Saline and smoky hints balance the nose perfectly. The palate is crisp and precise, with citrus and tropical fruit lingering on the long, complex finish.


93+ RobertParker.com

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.

William Kelley

Our Best Selling French Wine
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