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RARE Champagne Takes Online Tasting By Storm

Though not as old as its contemporaries, RARE is an extremely well-respected spirits brand, with … [+] nearly every vintage having a story to tell.

(Courtesy of RARE Champagne)

Jonathan Boulangeat logged into Zoom on a Thursday evening in March, in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and long before the idea of video hangouts gripped the mainstream. Like many people this young Parisian professional, who is handsome, unfailingly polite and always sharply dressed, was here to work. Entering the call, and virtually face-to-face with his clientele, it was time to pop the cork on his bottle of champagne. It would be the first night of many, many more.

“When I moved to the U.S. I started out down in Florida for a year, but then I came to New York City on a mission,” he said. “I needed to reveal this sleeping beauty that we’ve always had, yet nobody knew about.”

As the Champagne Ambassador to the U.S. for RARE Champagne, the prestige brand of Piper-Heidsieck for the past five years, Boulangeat is responsible for bringing the champagne maker’s vintages into the limelight. Depending on who you ask, though, it can be a much easier or harder job than it sounds. RARE has been in the business for decades, but is renowned for creating only 11 vintages throughout its existence, ranging from 1976 to 2008.

Though these vintages are so, well, rare, nearly every one of them was created in a difficult year for the spirits industry, an ideology that Cellar Master Régis Camus has championed.

“Camus is really a legend, he loves to challenge Mother Nature,” Boulangeat said. “Even in difficulty he can find beauty with his creations.”

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