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This is our best Champagne of 2020

Having spent last month judging scores of samples for this year’s Champagne Masters, we can now bring you the best cuvée of the competition – The Champagne Master 2020.

While there were a number of exceptional Champagnes in this competition, which took in all styles of this famous fizz from almost every major producer, there was one name that excelled, earning more top marks than any other brand, and the highest overall score.

That Champagne house was Piper-Heidsieck, and the top-scoring cuvée of 2020 was its expression called Rare, which is now being made and marketed as a standalone brand, with its own cellar master, Régis Camus.

While Camus takes charge of all Rare wines, he still oversees the making of Piper-Heidsieck Champagnes, although the latter has its own chef de cave, Emilien Boutillat, who was appointed at the end of 2018.

Before we look at the character of our ultimate Champagne of 2020, I should note that although Rare was our best-performer of 2020, there were in fact two expressions that wowed.

The first was Rare 2006 blanc – its longstanding white cuvée – and the other was Rare Rosé 2008, the pink version introduced in late 2016 with the 2007 vintage.

However, it was the blanc that got the highest overall score, if only by one point.

So, the best Champagne of 2020 is…

Rare 2006

  • Price: £190
  • Medal: Champagne Master 2020
  • Score: 96 points
  • Grapes: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
  • Ageing: 11 years on the lees
  • Dosage: 8.5 g/l

Tasting note: This Champagne starts with an array of highly-appealing aromatics from ripe yellow fruit to citrus zest, pastry, and roasted nuts, along with a touch of cocoa. Then, from the first sip, comes an initial hit of fruit, from pineapple to mango, followed by other complementary characters, including ginger, hazelnut, coffee, and dark chocolate, before one is left with a lingering flavour of tangy orange and toast, as the creamy-textured bubbles slowly subside. Unusually, this Champagne manages to successfully combine rich fleshy fruit with refreshing zesty characters too, making it generous, but palate-cleansing. And, while open and expressive now, there’s plenty of potential for this Champagne to evolve further should you be able to resist drinking it immediately. In short, this is a layered, intense and opulent Champagne that’s still refreshing. For that reason, it’s hard to think of how it can be improved. 

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About the competition

The Champagne Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business, and is an extension of its successful Masters series for grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as regions like Rioja and Tuscany. The competition is exclusively for Champagne, and the entries were judged using Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic glasses supplied by Wine Sorted. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Champagne Master.

The Champagnes were judged on 4-5 September by Patrick Schmitt MW, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW and Simon Field MW.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at:

Click here to see all the medallists from this year’s tasting.

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