97pts Wine Spectator
Like a stallion out of the gate, this shows an initial explosion of power, in the form of mouthwatering flavors and fine texture, before quickly settling into an elegant gait. The racy acidity is seamlessly knit, buoying the lacy mousse and flavors of cassis, toasted brioche and tangerine, with accents of candied ginger, hazelnut and fleur de sel lingering on the long, creamy finish. Drink now through 2035.
96pts Wine Enthusiast
The new release of this producer's prestige cuvée comes in its usual beautifully sculpted bottle. The Champagne, from a great vintage in the region, is just approaching maturity still showing minerality from the high amount of Chardonnay in the blend. Nutty flavors are creeping in, keeping the great texture adding complexity. Drink this very fine wine now although it will also age further.
Rare Champagne boasts an illustrious past, with its first vintage having been presented to Marie Antoinette in 1785. The wine is produced in very limited quantities and is restricted to exceptional years, with only 11 vintages being declared over the past four decades of production. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from selected grand cru vineyards. Simon Field MW: Gentle bead, lovely evolved notes of hazelnut, even a hint of praline, enrobed and ennobled by firm acidity and a persuasive finish. Alan Bednarski: Great, pure wine with still-fresh zesty flavours, delicate palate and sweet yeast notes, with a long flavourful finish of ripe melon. Tim Hall: A challenging, pressing start, wanting to overwhelm with shimmering and sharp attack, but shows intensity on the palate to match. Lovely lemon-apple notes and tempered texture.
96pts Jeb Dunnuck
The 2008 Champagne Rare is luxurious with aromas of graham cracker, honeysuckle, quince, and orange zest. It is round and opulent, with a fine and pillowy mousse, and retains freshness throughout, with apricot and yellow flowers. It is impressive and long, and fully luxurious. Drinking well now, it is sure to hold its own for years to come. Drink 2022-2044.
93pts Wine Advocate
The newly released 2008 Brut Cuvée Rare is very promising, unwinding in the glass with a youthfully reserved nose of citrus oil, crisp green apple, freshly baked bread, iodine and oyster shell, as well as some rather herbaceous characteristics that depress my score a little, even if I suspect that they will resolve with a bit more bottle age. Medium to full-bodied, incisive and tightly wound, if the 2006 vintage was gourmand and demonstrative, the 2008 is slower to show all its cards. Built around racy acids and complemented by a pillowy mousse, this rendition of Cuvée Rare will reward a few years more on cork.
In a subtle, joyful effervescence, the intense crystalline golden robe evokes yellow diamonds. The initial nose shines by the pure vivacity of this vintage. As Rare Millésime 2008 gradually warms in the glass, a vast range of orange blossom, hyacinth and white flowers is released. This leads to the delicacy of vanilla blossoms, a touch of fresh coconut, aromas of just ripe Williams pear and fresh almond, enhanced by notes of tangerine and blackcurrant buds. The second nose reveals the saline minerality, abundant and refined, an iodine-smoky harmony and a touch of licorice. On the palate the crispy, precise attack is followed by exuberant aromas of fresh pineapple, freshly cut and crisp, passion fruit, kiwi and coconut, nuanced with tangy citrus notes. These combine with plush springlike flavours with unparalleled length. The finish, with remarkable saline and iodine notes, perpetuates the journey into an endless spring.