2013 Rare Champagne Release: A Spectacular Celebration.
Rare Champagne isn’t just an emblem of exceptional Champagne; it’s a brand synonymous with lavish celebrations. When the gracious team at Piper-Heidsieck and their importer Maxxium host a party, attendance is a must! This event was no exception, marking the launch of their newest vintage, Rare Millésimé 2013. But the revelry didn’t stop there; an exclusive array of other labels was also uncorked for the occasion.
The venue for this illustrious gathering? None other than the residence of Dutch Rare Ambassadors Jermain De Rozario and Edgaras Razminas, their esteemed Michelin-starred Restaurant De Rozario.
The Essence of Rare Champagne: A Journey Through Time
Rare Champagne is renowned for its unconventional approach to sparkling wine. Each Rare Millésime is released as a limited series, ensuring that each bottle is a coveted item for connoisseurs and collectors alike. The champagne’s unique character comes from a meticulous blend of grapes, selected from only the most exceptional harvests, and the masterful aging process that imbues each bottle with its distinctive flavor profile and effervescence.
Rare Champagne’s journey began in 1785 with Florens-Louis Heidsieck, who created the first bottle specifically for Queen Marie-Antoinette of France. This auspicious beginning set the tone for a legacy of exclusivity and excellence. A century later, to commemorate its 100th anniversary, the Champagne House released La Cuvée du Centenaire, a limited series that epitomized luxury and craftsmanship. This tradition of celebrating milestones with unique creations continued into the 20th century, with the release of Rare Millésime 1976, encased in a bottle designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, adorned with gold, diamonds, and lapis-lazuli.
The design of Rare Champagne bottles is itself a testament to the brand’s heritage and status. The current bottles, embellished with a tiara symbolizing triumph, were designed by Arthus-Bertand, reflecting the brand’s royal beginnings and its ongoing commitment to excellence.
Over the past 30 years, there have only been a few years that have been so exceptional that they were eligible to release a Rare vintage. Since 1985, Rare Champagne has only produced 13 vintages, the latest being the Champagne Millésime 2013.
The Artisan Behind the Bubbles: Émilien Boutillat
Rare Champagne’s rise in contemporary prestige owes a great deal to the expertise and vision of Émilien Boutillat. Appointed as Chefs de Caves in 2018, he succeeded Régis Camus, who significantly shaped the brand during his 30-year tenure. While acknowledging Régis’ vital contributions, Émilien’s arrival at Piper-Heidsieck has proven to be another stroke of fortune. He has not only preserved the brand’s esteemed heritage but also enriched it with a touch of modern brilliance.
Émilien’s winemaking prowess has been recognized globally, highlighted by his accolade as ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year 2023′ at the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Additionally, the Rare Millésime 2008, largely crafted under Régis’ direction, was honored as ‘Best Wine of the Year 2023’, further affirming their combined legacy.
Boutillat’s impact goes beyond creating exceptional champagnes. His dedication to sustainability, as evidenced by the brand’s B-Corp Certification, demonstrates a commitment to responsible and environmentally conscious luxury champagne production. The release of Rare Millésime 2013, a collaborative effort of Régis and Émilien, ushers in a new era for the brand, seamlessly blending time-honored craftsmanship with modern values.
A Rare Experience, by the Greatest ShowMEN alive
Restaurant De Rozario and its team are undeniable Rare ambassadors. Chef Jermain de Rozario and sommelier Edgaras Razminas invited colleagues and press from all over the Netherlands to enjoy their beautiful dishes with a line-up of Piper-Heidsieck and Rare Champagnes. This included the newly released Rare Millésime 2013, and the highly praised Rare Millésime 2008. Under the expert guidance of these two great showmen we enjoyed an unparalleled dining experience, where they seamlessly blended traditional flavors with contemporary flair.
Appetizers: The Appetizer Ensemble
The journey begins with an array of appetizers, each a masterpiece of balance and taste. A glass of Piper-Heidsieck Essential Extra Brut sets the stage, its crisp and vibrant notes perfectly complementing the exotic array of starters. The Pecel Bonbon bursts with herbal freshness, while the Topinambumbu offers a delightful earthiness. Crustaceans provide a taste of the sea, and Mama’s Chicken, Satay, and Bao bring comforting warmth with their rich, savory flavors.
Piper-Heidsieck Essential Extra Brut
DWA score: 94/100 (JE)
Champagne crafted for gastronomic experience with its lower dosage.
- 45% Pinot Noir – 36% Meunier – 19% Chardonnay
- Base vintage 2016
- 23% reserve wines
- Dosage: 4 g/l
On the nose invigorating mineral character of wet stone and petrichor (the smell of rain on dry surface), elegant fragrance of white blossom, white peach, pomelo and grapefruit.
The palate strikes with steely and brisk high acidity. Flavors of yuzu citrus and yellow hibiscus enrich the experience. Finale is fresh with oriental spices on the back of the palate.
1st course: Harmony of Land and Sea, Steak Tartare and Oyster
The first course introduces the Rare Millésimé 2008, a champagne with depth and complexity. It pairs exquisitely with the Steak Tartare, accentuating the meat’s delicate texture. The Piccalilli adds a tangy kick, balanced by the subtle brininess of the Oyster Leaf. Sesame ‘Kletskop’ and a Vinaigrette of Roasted Peppers round off the dish with a satisfying crunch and a sweet, smoky finish.
Rare Millésime 2008
DWA score: 98/100 (JE)
A Tribute to Marie-Antoinette. Champagne worthy of a Queen. The beauty of a suspended moment. Millésime 2008 is named ‘Infinite’ for its unlimited potential to evolve, growth and its infinite youth.
- 70% Chardonnay – 30% Pinot Noir
- Dosage: 8.5 g/l
Olfactory senses are being encircled by glorious bouquet of oriental express. Distinctive scents of dried apricots adorned by petals of Peony. Citrusy freshness stems from yuzu fruit, Meyer lemon, grapefruit peel and ginger shavings. Hypnotizing aromatics of smoke. Luscious palate is being complimented sensationally by sprinkled white chocolate flakes with waxy depth of vanilla and honey. Decadent texture of high acidity reminds you how youthful yet is this Champagne. Finale is amole and mouth filling with a touch of powdered gold.
2nd course: Ocean Whisper, Turbot
As we progress to the second course, the Piper-Heidsieck Essential Blanc de Blancs makes its appearance. This champagne, with its bright and fresh character, is a match made in heaven for the Turbot. The fish, cooked to perfection, is enhanced by the sweetness of Pumpkin and the citrusy zing of Orange. The Beurre Blanc Vadouvan sauce, with its gentle spices, ties the dish together in a velvety embrace.
Piper Heidsieck Essentiel Blanc de Blancs
DWA-score: 96/100 (JE)
- 100% Chardonnay
- Base wine 2016
- 30% reserve wines
- Dosage 6g/l
On the nose radiant expression of Chardonnay. Aromas of zesty lemon, yuzu fruit, lime sorbet and absorbing freshness from chalk dust. Second nose envelops warmth of varietal expression from Mirabelle plum to brioche. The palate harmoniously blends the flavors greatly matching the aromatics on the nose and is in precise equilibrium with brisk yet tight high acidity. Finale is long with saline minerality.
3rd course: Exotic Journey, Rendang
The third course sees a playful twist with the Piper-Heidsieck French Riviera. This selection, with its subtle fruitiness and elegant structure, pairs beautifully with the Rendang. The complexity of the Rendang, with its rich coconut and fragrant Sereh, is complemented by the refreshing Mango ice cream. Enoki mushrooms and Pandan oil add layers of umami and aromatic intrigue to this exquisite dish.
Piper Heidsieck Riviera Demi-Sec
DWA score: 93/100 (JE)
A symbol of Cannes or Saint-Tropez lifestyle, in 2006 PH launches its famous “Piscine”. An ode to joie de vivre of French Riviera lifestyle, dive into timeless atmosphere of summer on the sand, overlooking the sea.
- 50% Pinot Noir – 30% Meunier – 20% Chardonnay
- 25 % reserve wines
- Dosage: 35 g/l
On the nose the exhilarating freshness of exotic Asian market with myriad of aromas stemming from lychee, frosted orange, melon, star fruit, lemon sorbet, yellow kiwi. Dazzling bouquet of Asian water lily and sun kissed frangipani tackles your senses. The palate is weighty with heady touch of honeysuckle and hints of crisp caramel. High acidity cuts like a knife through dosage and leaves your palate mouth-watering. Finale delivers equilibrium with the hint of bitterness from star anise.
4th course: Grand Finale, Wagyu
For the fourth course, the Piper Heidsieck Vintage 2014 stands tall. This robust and expressive champagne pairs effortlessly with the luxurious Wagyu. The Oyster and Miso Eggplant introduce a wonderful interplay of savory and umami, while the Mushroom and Perkedel add earthiness and texture. The Gravy from XO and BBQ brings a smoky, rich finish that lingers on the palate.
Piper Heidsieck 2014
DWA score: 96/100 (JE)
Phenomenal expression of radiant vintage. As Émilien Boutillat, specified:
‘Vintage 2014 represents a perfect balance of warm, spiced aromas with remarkable fresh palate.’
- 45% Chardonnay – 55% Pinot Noir
- Dosage: 7 g/l
On the nose odors of sun kissed exotic citrus fruit. Satsuma oranges with clementine, pink grapefruit and unmistakable yuzu fruit. The time and intervention of oxygen reveals the layer of brioche and French pastry, crushed roasted almonds sprinkled by orange blossom.
The palate is touched by light toast and yellow plum, the driving force is high acidity of fresh character. The finish is long with elegant power.
Friandises: Sweet Ending
The culinary expedition concludes with Friandises, accompanied by the Rare Millésimé 2013. This champagne, with its refined bubbles and mature character, is a fitting finale to an unforgettable dining experience. The delicate sweet treats, crafted with precision and care, echo the elegance and sophistication of De Rozario’s culinary philosophy.
Rare Millésime 2013
DWA score: 96/100 (JE)
This vintage is named ‘Dazzling’ for its lively and refreshing character.
- 70% Chardonnay – 30% Pinot Noir
- Dosage: 9 g/l
Olfactory senses are being approached delicately with a slight shy touch. This dual personality of discretion yet dynamic indulgence will invite you be patient. Take your time… and you will be rewarded. First nose reveals elegance of yellow kiwi, yuzu fruit, freshly sliced pineapple and fresh bergamot. The second round of scents punctuate with subtle hints of meringue, brioche, French pastry and smoke. The palate is silky and vibrant of tropic minerality. High acidity seethes through salty- chalky purism. Finale of majestic longevity with delicious mineral hammer.
Rare Elegance: A Toast to Timeless Celebrations with Rare Champagne
In conclusion, the Rare Champagne experience at Restaurant De Rozario, is a testament to the brand’s commitment to unparalleled quality and innovation. The event, hosted by Jermain and Edgaras, was not just a celebration of the new Rare Millésimé 2013, but a journey through the exquisite flavors and craftsmanship that define Rare Champagne.
From the harmonious pairings of exquisite dishes with the vibrant Piper-Heidsieck champagnes to the grand finale featuring the sophisticated Rare Millésimé 2008 and 2013, each course was a tribute to the art of champagne and fine dining. The meticulous attention to detail, from the selection of ingredients to the perfect balance of flavors, mirrored the careful crafting of Rare Champagne itself.
This event underscored Rare Champagne’s status as a brand that transcends the ordinary, offering experiences that are not only memorable but also emblematic of the brand’s rich heritage and innovative spirit. It’s clear that Rare Champagne, with its history of excellence and a future of endless possibilities, continues to set the standard for luxury champagne, embodying a legacy of timeless elegance and a passion for perfection.
As we reflect on the Rare Millésimé 2008 and 2013, it becomes evident that Rare Champagne is not just about the exceptional quality of its produce but also about the memorable experiences it creates, making every sip a journey through time and a celebration of the finest elements of life.
Rare Champagne is imported in the Netherlands by Maxxium and available at selected retail and hospitality partners.
This article is written by our own Jelena van Eerdenburg and Niels Aarts. Picture credits: Robin Timmermans, Krijn Lugt and Dutch Wine Apprentice.
We would like to thank the following people for this unforgettable evening: Champagne Piper-Heidsieck (in particular international brand ambassador Dominique Climasander), Rare Champagne (Émilien Boutillat and his team), Dutch importer Maxxium (in particular Tim Hoevenagel), Restaurant De Rozario (Jermain, Edgaras and their whole team) and Pitch PR for organizing this event.