No celebration is complete without Champagne and for those really special moments, only an exquisite bubbly will do. Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rosé Millésime 2007($450) is such a Champagne. Piper-Heidsieck's very first vintage Cuvée Rare Rosé, this exceptional sparkling wine spent 8 years aging in the cellars before it was released. Challenging weather conditions made 2007 a tough year for producing vintage Champagne but Régis Camus, Piper-Heidsieck's award-winning cellar master, saw the potential to create something truly magnificent.
There's a bit of alchemy involved in making Champagne and Rare Rosé is magic in a glass. Precise yet ebullient, structured yet graceful, Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rosé captures the ethereal nature of Champagne and demonstrates the absolute importance of a knowledgeable and intuitive winemaker like Régis (he has been honored as "Sparkling Winemaker of the Year" an astounding eight times by the International Wine Challenge). A luminous shade of golden pink with hints of copper, Rare Rosé's fine bubbles pirouette in the glass. An aromatic blend of Chardonnay (56%) and Pinot Noir (44%), Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rosé is rich yet still lithe, crisp, and refreshing with luxurious layers of flavor - pomegranate, hibiscus, strawberry, raspberry, and touches of vanilla, paprika, and savory herbs. Befitting its name, only 1,500 bottles of Rare Rosé 2007 were produced.
Drinking Rare Rosé with Régis was a delicious reminder of wine's unique ability to connect people from different cultures and how Champagne can transform a business meeting into a celebration. This article actually marks my 1000th blog post and Rare Rosé struck me as the perfect topic to acknowledge the occasion. Eight years ago (the same amount of time that Rare Rosé 2007 was aged) I spontaneously started blogging as The Black Dress Traveler. I had no grand plan, I simply wanted to write about the things that I loved and escape some of the stress of my life. Writing this blog has been a rare adventure, one that I could have never scripted. I never imagined that I would be sipping Champagne with one of the world's most celebrated winemakers. Writing has changed my life and through this blog I've met so many extraordinary people, traveled to beautiful places, and sipped some mighty fine wines! I've been humbled by the warm reception that I have received from my readers and the industry. This journey has been more than I ever hoped for and I suspect that there are still some fantastic surprises on the horizon. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me along the way - I'm raising a glass of Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rosè to you. Cheers!