Champagne Vilmart et Cie. is arguably the greatest of the smaller Champagne houses that own and maintain their own vineyards (an arrangement known as grower Champagne). This bottling of Vilmart’s non-vintage “Grand Cellier” combines 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 vintages. Some Champagne is quiet and subtle, a whisper. Vilmart, however, is audacious and luxurious and exotic, a bit flamboyant even. The still wine at is core is aged for ten months in oak casks prior to secondary fermentation. Incredibly expressive, the palate is layered with green and gold tropical fruit, a creamy mouthfeel, nutty brioche, and a vibrant finish.
“A mouthwatering, seamless Champagne that caresses the palate like raw silk, with vibrant acidity framing rich and finely meshed flavours of nectarine, chopped almond, fleur de sel and honey. Offers a long, chalky finish of lime blossom and spice. Disgorged December 2015. Drink now through 2022.”
93 points, Wine Spectator, Dec 2017
“The NV Cuvée Grand Cellier is super-polished and sophisticated from start to finish. The flavors are bright, precise and beautifully sculpted throughout. Candied lemon peel, grapefruit, white flowers, white pepper and herbs are some of the signatures. There is just a touch of vintage 2011 greenness lurking behind the fruit, but the wine’s overall finesse compensates for that, while the brisk, salivating finish is incredibly inviting. This release is a blend of 50% 2013 and 25% each 2012 and 2011. Dosage is 9 grams per liter.”
91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Aug 2016
“The NV Grand Cellier Premier Cru Brut offers a very clear and precise bouquet with citrus and some smoky/flinty flavours. Pure, clear and fresh on the palate, very precise and mineral, this is a remarkably finesse-full and expressive Champagne. It was disgorged in June 2015 with nine grams of dosage, but it tastes significantly more dry. The finish is full of tension and minerals, which makes this a seriously expressive Champagne of great elegance and ageing potential. The blend is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir.”
91 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2016