Wine competition The Champagne Master 2020 has declared Rare, the former prestige cuvée of Piper-Heidsieck and now a brand a house on its own, the best champagne of 2020.

Created and run by The Drinks Business magazine, The Champagne Masters competition is exclusively for Champagne wines.

The champagnes in this latest competition were judged on 4-5 September 2020 by Patrick Schmitt MW, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW, and Simon Field MW.

The cuvées were judged using Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic glasses. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade–the title of Champagne Master.

The title was given to Rare, of which two expressions were wowed: Rare 2006–its longstanding white cuvée–and Rare Rosé 2008, the pink version introduced in late 2016 with the 2007 vintage.

However, it was the white that got the highest overall score, with 96 points (95 for the Rosé).

Describing its tasting notes, the judges stresses that “this champagne manages to successfully combine rich fleshy fruit with refreshing zesty characters too, making it generous, but palate-cleansing. This is a layered, intense and opulent champagne that’s still refreshing. And there’s plenty of potential for this Champagne to evolve further should you be able to resist drinking it immediately.”

About Champagne Rare

Rare champagne, always vintage, was first released in 1976, and subsequently in 1979, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2006.

Rare Rosé was launched in 2007, and produced again with the 2008 vintage.

Régis Camus, the Cellar Master of Rare Champagne and the most awarded Cellar Master of the century, selects only truly singular years to craft this cuvée, and vineyards according to their expression rather than their ranking.

Clearly, Camus prefers the Montagne de Reims, where he sources both the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir grapes (for instance Verzy or Aÿ) for their sheer intensity and powerful silky texture.

As a result, Rare Champagne “expresses an elegant style: endless freshness, long-lasting minerality, with a radiant purity and subtle contrasts”.

Rare 2006

The cuvée Rare 2006 is made of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, enjoyed 11 years of aging on lees and received a dosage of 8.5 g/l for the optimum balance.

In addition to winning the title of 2020 Champagne Master, it received gold medals from the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards, the 2019 International Wine Challenge, and the 2019 Grand International Wine Award.

If you want to learn more about the Champagne terroir and production process, and about the best Champagne houses and wines, check out our extensive Champagne Guide on Amazon

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