Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'll take Rubis in the fifth

NV Vilmart “Cuvée Rubis” Brut Rosé Champagne

I have followed various releases of this champagne over several years now, and it has always been a go to favorite. But the newest take, in the Tim Burton-does-Batman-black-bottle, is in a different vein than those that I had tried previously. Much more mineral, much more driven, and quite dry. The soft-summer-day-give-me-a-push-on-the-swing-set fruit has been ripped out here. This wine is vinous and out for blood. A chiseled middle weight fighter who hasn't smiled for several rounds, and perhaps has a razor blade packed in his glove. There is no caress about it: we are looking at bruises.

Maybe not the kind of rosé that everyone will like. Maybe more of a split decision.

Still, I can't help but go for another round.


Unknown said...

To what would you attribute the 'out for blood' style? Vintage? Winemaker decisions, etc?

leviopenswine said...

Mark, it is a good question, and one that is hard to answer from my vantage point. Maybe someone from Skurnik will chime in with more information.

Steven said...

I work at Skurnik. I drank the Vilmart Cuvee Rubis for the first time as the gang left the office on our way to Thanksgiving dinners that weekend. I was readying myself for softer fruit.

While the wine was not at all thin or light, it’s weight seemed to come not from the fruit or alcohol but from the Pinot Noir tannins. Certainly they have always been there, but I think the winemaker, Laurent Champs loved the fruit of 2007 so much that he, like his Montagne de Remis compatriots, let more of the sugar go and then proceeded to not dose heavily. Maybe not the best choice, but exuberant and rewarding, yet.

I was ready to slide in to a sweet fruit coma before I started drinking it, and while I was surprised by the hard edges, I still had one of the greatest drinking Thanksgivings ever, later that weekend. I thank the Laurent.

The vast majority of this Cuvée is Pinot Noir.
I do not know the mass of residual sugar in this bottling. I believe it is relatively low. The non vintage wines from various estates of Motagne de Remis, from this disgorgement, Billiot and Pehu-Simmonet for instance, when dominated by Pinot Noir, have been aggressive and low on dosage: less than 7g.l. More sugar would tame their bloodlust.

Winemaking or vintage? Considering that these men are overseeing the picking of very small parcels of land, I’d call the whole damn vintage an exercise in wine making.

Have you noticed a drier bottling this year from the Montagne de Remis, anyone?

leviopenswine said...


Thank you for your comments.

You sound like a drunk, and I suggest that you seek professional help, but otherwise I really appreciate your point of view.

Steven said...

My doctor says this is helping.