2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne
*Highly Recommended* Impeccably balanced and silky, with finely honed acidity shaping the expansive flavors of toasted brioche, crushed blackberry, lemon preserves and honey, revealing hints of Frangelico liqueur and smoked nut. Rich and vivid, with a lasting finish. Drink now through 2027.
Wine & Spirits
This is a blend from 17 crus in the Montagne de Reims, 70 percent Chardonnay, 30 percent Pinot Noir. It is, by far, the best Piper Rare we’ve tasted in recent memory. Dressed as the bottle is in filigreed gold that might serve as the tiara for a princess, the wine is more animal, taking chardonnay into a fine mist, like the scent of sweat off that princess. Yes, I was completely seduced by this 2002, by its complex scent of plum and ginger, mushroom and root; by the silken elegance of its bubbles; by the way it shimmers into the distance as its flavors slowly recede. Harmonious and accessible, in fact, delicious to drink now, this has the structure to hold tight for several years in the cellar.
*Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2012* This is top Champagne from Piper-Heidsieck, offering the delicious airy quality that’s the hallmark of this house, with crisp apple flavor, tangy acidity and the first signs of yeasty, toasty bottle age. Its fruit intensity has transformed into a splendid selection. It’s worth aging for a few more years, though also delicious now.
An attractive nose with plenty of toasty grilled cashews and bready aromas here, plus fresh peach and citrus fruits that are wrapped in caramel. Plenty of lemon as it breathes and freshens up. The palate's crisp and crunchy; lemon acidity pins a big mouthful of flavor in long and fresh. Drink now or for the next three to four years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light, bright gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes candied orange, pear and ginger, with building floral and spice nuances. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering an array of citrus and floral flavors that become richer with air. A hint of nuttiness arrives on the finish, which is spicy, focused and very long. This Champagne seems set for a long life.
This is the top of the line wine from Piper-Heidsieck and may be the greatest tête-de-cuvée Champagne that you have not tried. It is composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir and vinified in stainless steel tanks with full malolactic. This is one of the last 2002s on the market, as most houses sell much younger Champagne even for the top of their range. This was a vintage of both great concentration and finesse, and the Rare shows this. It is a very finely balanced, elegant wine with great length. This wine is drinking great now, but judging by how well bottles from the 1980s taste, it will continue to improve for decades to come. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)