Régis Camus needs no introduction in the world of Champagne. For nearly thirty years, he was the Chef de Cave of Charles Heidsieck, Piper Heidsieck and Rare Champagne. Régis is one of the most celebrated Cellar Masters of our time, with eight trophies at Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck, and Rare Champagne House.
A Farewell & Tribute To Régis Camus
Over the years I had the opportunity to meet with Régis Camus and I have become a loyal fan. Recently I was invited to attend his retirement celebration and his last master class with Rare Champagne. It was an opportunity to experience one of the most exceptional moments in the history of Rare Champagne. Emotions were running high as Régis said goodbye to his team, and his long-time fans, all while introducing the next generation. It was a moving and very special day, one that will stay close to my heart.
The farewell tribute to Régis Camus was held at Palais du Tau, an 11th-century beauty in Reims that houses rare treasures and jewels, very fitting as Rare Champagne is the jewel of Champagne. They had decided to host the last tasting of Régis Camus at this beautiful venue. It was a symbolic day, as they chose Palais du Tau, near the Cathedral of Reims, as they have a King in the house – Régis Camus, the Rare Champagne cellar master and the most awarded cellar master of the century.
The last masterclass of Régis Camus was an opportunity for him to introduce his new children, as they take over Rare Champagne. Maud Rabin will take over as Global Director of Rare Champagne and the future of this amazing brand. Emilien Boutillat will be responsible for maintaining the quality of the Rare Champagne style as the new Chief Winemaker. Régis very confidently expresses that he feels the house is in very good hands with Maud and Emilien. In a recent press release, Régis says, “I am ready to pass the torch to the future of Rare Champagne to Maud Rabin, Global Director; and Emilien Boutillat, Chief Winemaker. They both embody the values I stand for: Patience, passion, and precision.”
Tasting Rare Champagne 2008 With Régis Camus
2008 was the vintage chosen by Régis for his last master class. Those that know Régis, also know that he chooses a word that epitomizes each vintage; a way to explain the conditions of the vintage around the wine. For the Rare Champagne vintage 2008, the word Regis chose was “infinity”.
Régis explains that in 2008, the winter was rainy and mild. Spring was cool but rainy. Summer was fresh with flowering taking place by mid-June. The summer of 2008 was not sunny, temperatures were lower than normal. These conditions resulted in Chardonnay that had nice minerality while the structure of the wine came from the Pinot Noir. It was a harvest that resulted in grapes that had the capacity to age.
Everything about the 2008 harvest indicated it would be a long-lasting wine. Régis describes the color of 2008 as bright with a golden hue. You cannot tell that it is 14-year-old Champagne. The bubbles are fine and delicate. On the nose, you can see that the Champagne is very expressive and lively with lots of freshness and purity. There are floral aromas, along with notes of vanilla, fresh coconut, licorice and exotic fruit, which is characteristic of Rare Champagne. The minerality comes through on the nose with a salty touch – which is part of the signature of Rare Champagne. You get that impression of infinity on the nose, as it is very long-lasting.
Emilien describes that the mouth and palate are very in line with the nose. The palate follows through with notes of salinity and freshness. It is long and lively on the palate with notes of citrus lime, lemon, coconut, passionfruit, and pineapple. The freshness is another signature trademark of Rare Champagne. The texture is silky and you find that in every vintage of Rare Champagne. You can talk about 2008 for “infinity”.
Thank you, Régis for all the beautiful moments that you have shared with Rare Champagne. You leave behind an incredible legacy and an incredible jewel. You have raised the bar of Champagne to unprecedented levels. Cheers to a beautiful soul who has left behind his legacy with many incredible moments with Rare Champagne.
Photos Coutesy Rare Champagne – © Marco Strullu