N.V. Vilmart & Cie, Cuvée Rubis, Brut Rosé, Premier Cru Champagne, à Rilly-la-Montagne France.
I’ve never been anything but blown away by Vilmart and what Laurent Champs, who is an absolute genius, produces here, and I especially love this non-vintage Cuvée Rubis Premier Cru Brut Rosé grower fizz, with this edition, disgorged in 2020, showing fantastic right now, its pure sex in the bottle! This delicately pinkish/samon Cuvée Rubis is heavenly from start to finish with small beading bubbles and a creamy elegant mousse that feels like tiny ballet dancers on the richly textured palate with smooth, but precise layers of yeasty goodness, delivering subtle cherry and strawberry notes, bread dough, light citrus, wet chalky stones and rosewater. This Champagne never puts a foot wrong and seduces completely, my only complaint is that there is never enough of this nectar in the bottle! Vilmart is on the west side of the Grand Montagne with most of their vines located in the Premier Cru area of Rilly-La-Montagne, along with a few small blocks in neighboring Villers-Allerand, all organic/biodynamic on clay and limestone soils, which adds to the concentration, mineral tones and ripe quality of fruit in these awesome Champagnes.

Grower and winemaker Laurent Champs, who is the fifth generation at Vilmart & Cie, which was founded by Desire Vilmart in 1890 as a recoltant-manipulant, uses old plantings, including 65 year old ungrafted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines to craft his masterpieces. These gorgeous Vilmart Champagnes are true grower producer wines and this one comes from all estate grown organic vines in the Premier Cru à Rilly-la-Montagne area. Champs ferments and ages his vintage and non-vintage bubbly in a combination of wood vessels including large foudre, demi muids and some barriques, usually without Malo-lactic to preserve intensity, tension and crisp details, while still showing off depth and luxurious richness, if you like Krug, you’ll love these distinctive Vilmart offerings. The cépage for the Vilmart Cuvée Rubis is 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay, with about 15% vin rouge of Pinot Noir in the final blend to perfectly color this beauty and the assemblage saw some 2017, 2016 and 2015 vintages. The wines used in this Rubis saw no Malos and had an élevage 10 Months in large foudre before aging on the yeast in bottle for 30 months. This Vilmart Cuvée Rubis was as close to perfect for my celebration and drinks like a Champagne two or three times the price, making for a stunning value, I couldn’t ask for more and I highly recommend chasing this and all of Champs’ Vilmart fine efforts down.
($60 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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