Rosé Millésime (Gift Box), Rare Champagne, Champagne, France, 2007

£304
Made only 11 times since 1976 (1976, 1979, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008), Rare Champagne lives up to its name. Champagne legend Régis Camus is the Chef de Cave, whose meticulous winemaking has made him Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at the IWC eight times. The wine is born out of a struggle with nature – the 1976 vintage followed a period of exceptional drought and a terrible black frost preceded the 1985 vintage. Régis selects the vineyards based on their individual characteristics rather than the rank of Premier and Grand Crus, making wines which are complex, distinguished and pure expressions of their vintages.

Rare Champagne pays homage to the glory days of the royal court at Versailles when founder Florens-Louis Heidsieck presented his first ever ‘prestige cuvée’ to Marie Antoinette in 1785, declaring that he wanted to make a ‘cuvée worthy of a queen’. A century later a great tradition was founded when Russian Tsar Alexander III’s jeweller – a certain Pierre-Karl Fabergé – designed an opulent, bejewelled bottle for the house. The unique bottle shape is adorned with its distinctive gold casing, paying homage to its glamorous beginnings.

The current vintage available is 2006, a much-lauded vintage from Champagne, and is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. It shows exceptional complexity, intensity and length that is lent a vibrancy on the finish by an astonishing freshness, demonstrating that the wine has great ageing potential. It was awarded the Sparkling Wine Champion Trophy at the International Wine Challenge in 2019.

The Rosé Millésime 2008, the second rosé incarnation of Rare Champagne, is composed of 70% Chardonnay (primarily from Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims) and 30% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. A deliciously complex wine, already boasting a bouquet of spring flowers, crisp dark berry fruits, notes of star anise and sweet almond, it will gain even more complexity with age.

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