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tasting @ the champagnebar by richard juhlin 26 oktober 2014

For the members in The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club we set up at monthly tasting. The theme this time was ’odd auction bottles’. The bottles has been purchased at Swedish Champagne auctions the last three years.

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2004 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ’FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | 100CH  | aprox  1 000 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE  ’A new super-wine is born. Jacques Diebolt has put his heart and soul into the 3,000 bottles that are sold under this label. The philosophy is to copy earlier generation’s methods of craftsmanship: only the oldest vines, no malolactic fermentation, storage and fermentation in small oak barrels, lengthy maturation in the bottle. The result is astonishing. Young and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. SoYoung and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. Some oakiness starting to emerge. Suddenly grand and a year later stony and mineral salty. RJpoints 93(94)

Deutz99

1999 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ’  | Aÿ | 55PN 10PM 35CH  | aprox  1 500 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’William Deutz is a Champagne that impresses me more and more. It is early days still in the life of this young wine. The fruity loveliness and complexity in this closed bud of beauty are however quite unmistakeable. Yet another magnificent William with which to gild the future.’ RJpoints 90(94)

Deutz98

1998 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ’ | Aÿ | 55PN 10PM 35CH  | aprox  1 500 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’A bit mean and apple-tinged up to now. The almost earthy stoniness of this vintage is not something that contributes to giving the wine charm, either. It will certainly improve well and truly, but it is hardly likely to be one of the great Williams, is it? The sudden strawberry maturity in the finish makes me ask the question.’ RJpoints 93(93)

1999 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ ROSE’

1999 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ ROSE’ | Aÿ | 55PN 25CH  | aprox  1 500 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’Yet another magical edition of this wine. Please do not drink it yet. Of course the wine is seductively delicious with its focused strawberry essence, but the layers will split up and they have the potential for becoming even more subtle and captivating with time. Be patient!’ RJpoints 92(94)

1992 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’

1992 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’ | RILLY-LA-MONTAGNE | 60PN 40CH  | aprox  900 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’Vilmart has quickly established cult status, only topped among growers by J. Selosse. A transparent bottle, small barrels, but younger vines. Surprisingly oxidative and miles from Couer de Cuvée from this vintage. A rich, rustic flavour of honey, toffee, leather and fallen fruit.’ BJpoints 90(90) 

1998 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’

1998 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’ | RILLY-LA-MONTAGNE | 60PN 40CH  | aprox  900 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’Reminiscent of 1980 Noble Cuvée at the same age. Exactly the same aroma of meringue, sabayone and Brie. Creamy-sweet fruitiness with an element of vanilla. Not at all as compact or barrel-influenced as the Coeur de Cuvée.’ BJpoints 88(88)

1990 JACQUESSON ’CUVEE EMPEREUR NAPOLEON NON DOSE’

1990 JACQUESSON ’CUVEE EMPEREUR NAPOLEON NON DOSE’ | DIZY | 54PN 46CH  | aprox  4 500 SEK magnum |  TASTINGNOTE ’A highly successful Champagne, where finesse and richness go hand in hand in excellent fashion. Hazelnut, white chocolate, honey, licorice, and a hint of oak are found in this refreshing and clearly youthful taste. Brilliant winemaking!’ RJpoints 94(95) 

1990 JACQUESSON ’AVIZE  BLANCS de BLANCS’

1990 JACQUESSON ’AVIZE  BLANCS de BLANCS’ | DIZY | 54PN 46CH  | aprox  2 000 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’Their first vintage Blanc de Blancs was released in October 1994, replacing the much-praised nonvintage version with a lot of fuss and bother. I don’t know if this remarkable vintage was the reason for the huge jump in quality, but it is clear that this is a much broader and richer Champagne. The mousse melts in the mouth like the finest caviar, the nose is rich in bread aromas and Granny Smith apples, the flavor is soft and harmonious with a long, buttery, burgundy-like aftertaste.  Ah, they are just so clever at Jacquesson’s! I am greatly charmed by this wine since the dryness, sometimes exaggerated, is bridged over by the buttery, rich, exotic fruitiness of the vintage. Very typical of the vineyard.’ RJpoints 94(95) 

1989 HENRIOT ’CUVEE DES ENCHANTELUER’

1989 HENRIOT ’CUVEE DES ENCHANTELUER’ | REIMS | 45PN 55CH  | aprox  2 500 SEK |  TASTINGNOTE ’The firm’s new cuvée de prestige is identical to Cuvée Baccarat. Tasted newly disgorged before the wine had gone onto the market. That’s why it was not so strange to detect a slightly restrained, unevolved characteristic about this—in all other ways—classic, house-typical Champagne. Vanilla, peach, lemon, rolls, bread, and mineral clothed in a fat, balanced exterior. Beautiful and developable. Highly reminiscent of Henriot’s delightful ’76s.’ RJpoints 94(94) 

Vilmart tasting with Laurent Champs 13 april 2014

Björnstierne was invited to taste the full range of Vilmart et Cie with Laurent Champs @ Sturehof in Sthlm.

RJ ON VILMART Vilmart has quickly established cult status, only topped among growers by J. Selosse. The firm was started in 1890 in Rilly and is now run by René and Laurent Champs. The grapes are of mere premier cru level, but the vinification is exceptional. Vilmart is one of the few growers that cultivate their grapes organically and have most of the grape juice ferment in large oak barrels (foudres) and the rest—ninety barrels in total—in small one-, two- and three-year-old barrels from Allier. All the wines lie in the barrel for ten months and are enriched through bâtonnage. The perfectly pure champagnes that Vilmart produce from Rilly-la-Montagne and Villers-Allerand all have a high, fine acidity due to the avoidance of malolactic fermentation. Since young Laurent took over from his father in 1991, the company has become one of the true gems with the perfect wine, Coeur de Cuvée, as its most brilliant star. The wine was the best made in Champagne during the “off-years” of ’91, ’92, ’93, ’97, ´01 and ´03. Hunt like a demon for the scarce 5,000 bottles that were made of this gem!

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VILMART ’GRAND RÉSERVE | Rilly | Champagne | France | 70PN 30CH | vintage blend ’10 & ’11 RJ 75(82)

TASTING NOTE Since all of Vilmart’s wines ferment and are matured for ten months in oak barrels, all the wines get a unified, personal character with spicy tones that are reminiscent of Swedish beef stew, boiled mutton with dill sauce, ginger and wood. All of the wine from the second pressing ends up in this wine, which is stored for a slightly shorter time than the other wines. This creates a less sophisticated, younger character. Even so an utterly delicious standard wine with rich flavour. Wonderful when stored, as it turns out. Like an expressive white Burgundy. 

VILMART 'GRAND CELLIER'

VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 30PN 70CH | vintage blend ’09, ’10 & ’11 RJ 82(85)

TASTING NOTE The grapes come from thirty-year-old vines. Only freerun jouce & first press. 40 year old casks are used. Dosage 10 grams/litre. I found a lot of oaky, heavy aromas in earlier versions of this wine. Today, Vilmart has found their way with this Chablis-like, romantically floral, first-class, nonvintage Champagne. The taste is pure and elegant. 

2009 VILMART 'GRAND CELLIER d'OR'

2009 VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER d’OR’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 20PN 80CH | B88(90)

TASTING NOTE OF BJÖRNSTIERNE 45 year old vines. Small 228 litre barrels, 5-6 years old. Dégorgement March’13. Dosage 8 gr/litre. The regular vintage wine ferments and is stored in a blend of small and large barrels, as well as steel tanks. Broad nut toffee just like Couer de Cuvée, and brilliant Burgundy creaminess through and through.

2006 VILMART 'GRAND CELLIER d'OR oenothèque'

2006 VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER d’OR oenothèque’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 20PN 80CH | RJ 90(94)

TASTING NOTE 45 year old vines. Small 228 litre barrels, 5-6 years old. The most impressive young Grand Cellier I ever tested. The oak influence is clear, but oh so beautiful. The wine has just the same ultra fresh Chardonnay crispiness as the best young white Burgundies. Last summer I encountered a magical 06 Meursault 1er cru from the champion Coche-Dury which has many similarities with Vilmarts creation. More elegant than ever and significantly better than the 2003 Coeur de Cuvée that was released at the same time.

 

2006 VILMART ’COEUR de CUVÉE’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 20PN 80CH | BJ

TASTING NOTE The company’s most exclusive wine, as you know. The grapes are selectively picked from fifty-year-old vines and only the essence of the cuvée is used in these Chardonnay-dominated super-Champagnes. The wine is then stored for ten months in small 225-liter barrels before it winds up in its beautiful bottle. This time the harvest was unusually large, so there are 5,000 bottles for us Champagne nuts to share. The wine itself is incredibly concentrated and is basically identical to big white Burgundies from Lafon or Ramonet. To get a ninety-five-point experience directly, you should decant the Champagne, which will then shout out its gorgeous spectrum of nuts, toasted bread, lemon, new barrels, buttery dense creaminess, and deep oily exoticism. The wine is incredibly rich, with layers of coconut-y fruit and juicy vanilla aroma. I must take off my hat and bow my knee before the masterpieces that Vilmart produces every year, nowadays. This wine is delightful and is right from the start.  55 year old vines, sélection Marsal. Only the purest ’heart’ of the cuvée is used. Small 228 litre barrels, 5-6 years old. Dégorgement March’13. Dosage 8 gr/litre. 

2006 VILMART 'COEUR de CUVÉE'

VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER VIEUX’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 30PN 70CH | Vintages 1995 -1996 – 1997 | RJ 85(85)

TASTING NOTE Disgorged ’99. Laurent Champs matures some older bottles untill they are fully mature for his own use.  Fully mature and extremely butterscotch-crispy, fat and powerful. Brioche, acacia honey, pastry, floral nectar, pistils and burgundy like, almonds.

 

1990 VILMART 'GRAND CELLIER d'OR'

1990 VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER d’OR’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 20PN 80CH BJ 96(97)

TASTING NOTE Dégorgement ’96. The regular vintage wine ferments and is stored in a blend of small and large barrels, as well as steel tanks. Tasted beside the Coeur de Cuvée, this wine feels slightly light and common, but if you sit for a time and delve down into the hidden chambers of this wine, you will discover great complexity, with a good balance between all its most important parts. There is a fine acidity and a spicy side, with notes of brioche, almond, and vanilla, as well as a concentrated chocolaty richness that will become even clearer if you have patience and keep your hands off it for a few years. 

1989 VILMART 'GRAND CELLIER d'OR'

1989 VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER d’OR’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 20PN 80CH RJ 81(85)

TASTING NOTE Dégorgement ’96. In the glass one is met by heavy, smoky, slightly stale aromas. The flavor is a lot better, with the exotic passion fruits leading on to a pure and long finish.

 

VILMART ’GRAND CUVÉE RUBIS ROSÉ’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 90PN 10CH | Vintages 2010 & 2011  RJ 75(84)

TASTING NOTE Assemblage of still red & white wine. Dégorgement aug’13.  Made by adding red wine to the champagne. A fine, spicy aroma with animal traits in which the similarity to the producer’s other wines is noticeable. A coarser flavour with a distinct tone of cherry and a certain creamy mellowness.

VILMART 'GRAND CUVÉE RUBIS ROSÉ'

2009 VILMART ’GRAND CELLIER d’OR RUBIS ROSÉ’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 60PN 40CH | BJ ??

TASTING NOTE 45 year old vines, short maceration, Déorgement dec’13. Marvellous as always, with tones of red Burgundy, apricot, roses, orange and toffee. Integrated and beautifully light in colour. Made using the Saignée method. The only reason for storing this wine is that the aftertaste is going to get longer.

2004 VILMART 'RATAFIA' |

2004 VILMART ’RATAFIA’ | Rilly | Champagne | France | 100PN | BJ 89(89)

TASTING NOTE Fine de Champagne of 60% is used as mutage. Blend of three different barrel sizes. 6 years in barrel, 3 years in bottle, Smooth and silky. Not as aggressive in the alcohol that Ratafia usually is. 18% in alcohol, 170 grams of resudial sugar.