2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne
Rich and smoky, this maintains a sense of finesse thanks to the finely detailed texture and skillfully meshed acidity framing layers of poached pear, toasted hazelnut and brioche, graphite, white cherry purée and kumquat. Offers a lasting finish of smoky minerality and a hint of crystallized honey. Drink now through 2030.
*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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(mostly chardonnay, with some pinot noir; L136050): 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 tete-de-cuvee 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 2002's 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 1980's taste, it will continue to improve for decades to come. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)