Vilmart "Cuvée Grand Cellier" Brut Champagne
A skein of ground spice unravels through flavors of black cherry coulis, crème de cassis, honeycomb and brioche in this elegant version. Mouthwatering acidity and a lightly chalky texture push through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2025.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Vilmart NV Brut Grand Cellier Disg. 07/2012 is 70-30 Chardonnay-Pinot and based on vintage 2010, with its two immediate predecessors in supporting roles. It comes from two parcels in Rilly and was aged for 10 months in foudre before going to bottle for 16 months of secondary fermentation and maturation. Fresh apple is tinged with mint and tarragon on a polished palate, picking up subtle chalkiness and saliva-liberating salinity en route to a long juicy finish. This harbors ten grams of residual sugar, but you don’t notice it as such. There is an interactivity of toasty, chalky, and smoky elements with the fruit and herbs that goes beyond that exhibited in the Grande Reserve, though the latter displays more sheer energy, succulence, refreshment and length. (A November, 2012 disgorgement tasted in September was marginally less scintillating and, I suspect, simply needing more time to hit its stride.)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, mostly from 2010 and the rest from 2009 and 2008; aged for 16 months on its lees and disgorged in November, 2012): Green-tinged yellow. Fresh pear, nectarine and honeysuckle aromas are complemented by smoky minerals and gingery spices. Deep, chewy orchard fruit flavors are brightened by hints of Meyer lemon and orange zest and firmed by a note of smoky minerality. Powerful but elegant brut with juicy acidity providing strong finishing lift and bite.
The previous edition of the NV Brut Premier Cru Cuvée Grand Cellier, based on 2009, is all chamomile, flowers, and honey. A relatively soft, inviting wine, this is a Grand Cellier that places considerable emphasis on textural elegance and finesse. Hazelnut and almond notes inform the inviting finish. In this release, the vintages are 2009/2008/2007. Disgorged February 2012.
This ripe, fruity offering has great depth of flavor. Vilmart is known for rich wines like this, with a high proportion of Pinot Noir in the blend. It's full, with a good balance of dosage and a crisp finish.