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. (AN)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The pale gold, greenish shimmering 2002 Rare Millesime – 30% Pinot Noir and 70% Chardonnay – offers a very intense and rich, yet fresh nose of exotic fruit aromas of pineapples, mango, kiwi and passion fruit. On the palate, this is a mouthful of luscious Champagne: powerful and intense, but pure and with the complexity of matured wines. The finish is very exotic in its fruit aromas, but also persistently mineral. (SR)
Wine & Spirits
When we tasted this wine two years ago, I gave it a similar score (95 points), noting its seductive and complex flavors. For a 2002, the wine was already harmonious and accessible, ready to drink and structured to hold for several years. The powerful drive of the 2002 vintage seems bolder today; more about creaminess and brioche-like autolysis than fruit, it still leaves my mouth tingling with gingery freshness and brightness of acidity. If you haven’t tried Piper Rare in some time, this is worth checking out—a blend from 17 crus in the Montagne de Reims, 70 percent Chardonnay, 30 percent Pinot Noir, built for lobster or other rich shellfish.
*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.
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. (JR)
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.