When Tom Stevenson, regarded as one of the world's leading authorites on Champagne, describes Vilmart as
"the greatest grower Champagne I know" it is very high praise indeed.
Having been fortunate enough to enjoy many of Vilmart's champagnes over the years we totally agree with Antonio Galloni when he says
"these are some of the most precise and strikingly beautiful wines being made in Champagne today. I can't recommend these Champagnes highly enough."
Often referred to as 'grower's Krug', the Vilmart wines stand out for their finesse and elegance, qualities that run through the entire range.
Like the better known Krug and Bollinger, Vilmart vinify and mature their still wines in oak barrels and foudres prior to secondary fermentation, a philosophy explained by winemaker Laurent Champs as
"We do wine first, then afterward we do champagne".
All of the Vilmart champagnes spend ten months in cask and do not undergo malolactic fermentation, resulting in tremendously complex wines of elegance and character.
Please get in touch if you are interested in any of these remarkable wines.
2010 Coeur de Cuveé
5 cases (6x75cl) - £400 per case
80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir
"The 2010 Coeur de Cuvée is marvelous. Deep, dense and powerful, the 2010 packs a serious punch. Slate, crushed rocks, white pepper, orchard fruit, mint and green pear give the 2010 its bright, vibrant personality. A hint of reduction adds freshness and complexity without being dominating. Laurent Champs nailed the vintage with this superb Coeur de Cuvée. The long, persistent finish is a thing of beauty. I can't wait to taste the 2010 with a little more bottle age. 2020-2030."
95+ Antonio Galloni
"Coeur de Cuvee means 'heart of the cuvee', and that is literally what this is because from every 2000 litres of vin de cuvee produced, Vilmart plucks out the best 800 litres and vinifies it in small barriques of new oak."
2013 Grand Cellier d'Or
10 cases (6x75cl) - £245 per case
80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir
Not yet critically reviewed
"a Chardonnay year par excellence" Decanter Magazine
on 2013 Champagne
"the best Chardonnays are drop-dead gorgeous" Antonio Galloni on 2013 Champagne
"With the launch of Coeur de Cuvee, the Grand Cellier d'Or seldom gets the attention it deserves, but this was the top of the range when I first declared Vilmart to be the greatest grower Champagne I knew and the quality has not dropped. Grand Cellier d'Or matures into a mini-Krug" Tom Stevenson
2011 Grand Cellier d'Or MAGNUMS
2 cases (3x150cl) - £340 per case
80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir
"The 2011 Grand Cellier d'Or Premier Cru Brut offers a clear, pure and fresh bouquet with lemon, limes and very chalky/mineral flavors that seem to be a bit austere in their youth. Round, elegant and intense, with great finesse and persistence in the finish, this is a remarkable rich, complex and highly elegant Champagne. It has some nutty and lingering mineral flavors in the finish. Great ageing potential, with great precision and complexity. The blend is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, with 100% selection massale (45-years-old vines), and was disgorged in June 2015 with eight grams per liter of dosage. 2017-2030."
93+ Stephan Reinhardt
"The 2011 Grand Cellier d' Or is an unqualified success for a year that gave so many growers fits. Soft, open-knit and inviting, the 2011 possesses lovely balance and class. The aromatics are a bit diffuse and also forward, which suggests the 2011 won't be an especially long-lived wine, yet all the elements are very nicely balanced. Most importantly, there are no signs of the greenness that plagues many 2011s. Those notes may show up in time, so I would not push my luck in cellaring the 2011 for more than a few years. Lemon confit, dried flowers, chamomile and sage linger in the background. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged November 2015. Release price $100. 2017-2023."
91 Antonio Galloni
NV Grand Cellier
30 cases (6x75cl) - £175 per case
5 cases (3x150cl) - £225 per case
2 cases (1x300cl) - £220 per case
70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
"The NV Grand Cellier is soft, open-knit and creamy, but as always done in the restrained, mid-weight style that is the house signature. Lemon confit, white flowers and mint open up first, followed by bright, chalky notes that extend the finish. This is a terrific showing from the Grand Cellier. This release is based on 2013, with reserve wines from 2012 and 2011. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. Disgorged December 2015. Release price $75. 2017-2025"
"There is no better Champagne with which to discover the wines of Vilmart, one of Champagne's reference-point houses."
90 Antonio Galloni
Shipping direct from Vilmart to arrive in the UK in September.
Almost twenty years have past since the renowned Champagne critic Tom Stevenson describe the family run champagne house of Vilmart as 'the greatest grower champagne I know'. In that time a profusion of small, independently run Champagne estates have come to the fore, quenching the thirst of a market that has woken up to the fact that there is great quality and value to be found away from the traditional 'Grande Marques'. Under the direction of Laurent Champs, Vilmart has gone from strength to strength and rightly still deserves that enduring title. Laurent is a perfectionist, his immaculate cellars, in the sleepy village of Rilly in the Montagne de Reims bare witness to his dedication and single-minded determination to be the best.
Twenty years ago Laurent did not export his champagne. Today over 70% is exported all over the world, strict allocations now having to be made for each country.
What sets Vilmart Champagne apart? Although more common place now, Laurent pioneered the use of oak barrels and oak foudres in which to age his wines, prior to the making champagne. At that time only a handful of Grande Marques practice this, namely the illustrious Krug and Bollinger. Laurent's knowledge and belief in wood gave his champagnes extra layers of complexity and depth, the oak being perfectly integrated. Laurent also blocks the malolactic fermentation (the second fermentation that converts the stronger malic acid into the softer lactic acid). By doing this his champagnes retain their freshness and balance. Laurent's vineyards are all classified as Premier cru, his finest and oldest vineyard come from La Blanche Voie, a famed lieu-dits, which provides the grapes for Vilmart's most prestigious champagne - Coeur de Cuvee (frequently referred to as 'poor man's Krug).
Finally, attention to detail: from caring for his vineyards in the most natural way possible, through to the timing of the harvest and the extra long ageing applied to his champagnes prior to degorgement. His cellars are immaculate. If the expression 'cleanliness is next to godliness' can be applied to anyone, it can be applied to Laurent.