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.
“This wine emphasizes the white-flower scents of Chardonnay (70 percent of the blend, the balance Pinot Noir). The wine’s searing acidity wasn’t softened by malolactic fermentation, and its fleshy apple and pear flavours were concentrated and enriched by aging for eight months in large oak casks prior to bottling. Brian Long of NYC’s Ai Fiori drew a parallel between the wine’s “laser-like” malic acidity and the bright acidity of a young Mosel riesling. The fine mousse calms that acidity a bit, and age will build up the flavours to surround it. A Champagne for cellaring.”
94 points, Wine & Spirits, Dec 2018
“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