Popped and poured, followed over the course of the evening. This was by far the lightest in colour of the opening flight, with a light straw gold colour in the glass. Initial bead is quite fine, but dissipates rather quickly. Somewhat reticent to start and really never came around. A touch musty on the nose, with lemon zest, fresh herb, tequila, spice, and some damp earth aromas. On the palate, no malolactic fermentation here, so the acidity is just raging. Finish is moderate, with linger tastes of green apple, lemon/lime zest, and a touch of mineral. Even with my expectations being rather low on this bottle, it was still a disappointment.
Year 3 - Super Tasting 2 of 5 - Andrew does 96 Chamapgne (Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON): This wine pours the lightest of this flight of 1996 grower champagnes, a medium/light straw. Nose is a tad tight (low intensity) with herbs, musty attic, lemon, green apple and oyster shell. The palate is alive with bright citric notes, low dosage and a biting, malic, green apple finish. Solid, but really not anything special. As I understand it this bottle was totally representative and Vilmart just wasn't really knocking it out of the park yet.
Year 3 - Super Tasting 2 of 5 - Andrew does 1996 Champagne (Langdon Hall - Andrew Little's Rooom (Also known as the Red Room)): This was quite herbal on the nose and for a brief moment I thought it might have been subtly corked but the musty basement and dust aromas blew off revealing lemon, salty oyster and chalk. Vilmart blows malo-lactic fermentation for tho cuvee and it shows...there is tonnes of malic acid....green apple, ginger, chalk, minerals, lime zest and a bit of a musty transition to the finish. Finish is medium and a touch simple. This is a bit of a disappointment as I have loved Vilmart in other vintage...the 2001 blew my mind.
The wine has sorted out. It is rich, it is balanced, but the flavors are not particularly appealing to me. My thought is that this is the terroir coming out. It is not for nothing that villages are rated in terms of the quality of the grapes they produce. The underlying grapes here are from Rilly, and 100% rated it is not. But the concentration is certainly there as is the balance.
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