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The heart of a champagne: Vilmart et Cie.

“Mon Coeur, mon esprit pour l’âme de mon vin”. The sentiments of fifth generation chef de cave, Laurent Champs of Vilmart et Cie. resonate a great deal with us and the passion we have for the wines in our portfolio. The new releases from Vilmart also arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day (in case you needed an occasion to justify drinking great champagne). 

Dear Reader,

Nuances can so often be lost in translation, but we think Laurent Champs was going for something like: my heart, my mind are at the soul of my wine. Champs has always attested to making wine first before making champagne. Every ounce of love, care and energy is placed in their 11 hectares of vines.

“Laurent Champs makes some of the classiest wines in all of Champagne. Nuance, polish and sophistication are all signatures readers will find here. No matter the vintage or wine, there is a sense of effortless grace at Vilmart that I always admire.”
Antonio Galloni for Vinous

Every base wine, without exception, spends at least ten months in oak casks of varying size and usage during vinification, and none of them undergo malolactic fermentation. The resultant champagnes are some of the most food-friendly you are likely to encounter because of this transparency and elegance in each cuvée.

We include three of Vilmart’s cuvées here for you today, each available separately. We encourage you to put together your own mixed selection and experience all three champagnes.

Grand Cellier 1er Cru NV

The non-vintage “Grand Cellier” is vinified in large oak foudres and is a blend built around Chardonnay (70% with 30% Pinot Noir). This current release is comprised of a base vintage of 2018 blended with reserve wine from 2016 and 2017. It was disgorged in December 2019.

Vilmart & Cie. Grand Cellier 1er Cru NV | R 850 per bottle

“The NV Brut Grand Cellier is a classy, super-polished wine from Vilmart. Bright, effusive aromatics and generous citrus flavours abound. Marzipan, chamomile, dried flowers and sage lend complexity to this beautifully defined edition of the Grand Cellier.”
91 points | Antonio Galloni | November 2021

Grand Cellier d'Or 1er Cru 2015

The vintage “Grand Cellier d’Or” is also Chardonnay-dominant and produced from the lieu-dit of Blanches Voies – a single plot of fifty-year-old vines planted in chalky soil. There is a greater ratio of wine to wood on this cuvée as a portion of the wine is vinified in 600 litre oak barrels. The wine spends ten months in 228L oak barrels before being bottled. The 2015 vintage spent a further 42 months on its lees before being disgorged in December 2019.

Vilmart & Cie. Grand Cellier d’Or 1er Cru 2015 | R 1,100 per bottle

“…the 2015 Brut Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or reveals inviting aromas of golden orchard fruit, pear, freshly baked bread and citrus zest. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, with racy acids, chalky extract and a long, penetrating finish, the vintage has imparted additional generosity, but the house’s chiseled, serious style remains very much intact.”
93 points | William Kelley | September 2020

Coeur de Cuvée 1er Cru 2011

Vilmart’s prestige cuvée is the vintage “Cœur de Cuvée”. These grapes come from sixty-year-old vines planted in the Blanches Voies. The average yield from this parcel is a little over 2,000 litres but only the very best fruit is pressed to make this cuvée – the heart of the cuvée. So out of 2,050 litres, a maximum of 1,400 is used. This is a champagne that needs time in bottle to fully reveal itself. The 2011 vintage was disgorged in May 2018.

Vilmart & Cie. | Coeur de Cuvée 1er Cru 2011 | R 1,595 per bottle

“…2011 Brut Coeur de Cuvée is showing beautifully, offering up an expressive bouquet of crisp green pear, yellow apple, dried white flowers, English walnuts and spices. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly fleshy and nicely concentrated, it’s a fine-boned, precise rendition of this cuvée, built around ripe but racy acids and complemented by a pinpoint mousse. Vilmart is the sort of grower that succeeds in vintages such as 2011, and this wine met my expectations.”
94 points | William Kelley | September 2020