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Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Reserve Brut NV Wine - Last Bottle

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Reserve Brut NV

These wines resonate a chord so absolutely above its price range, it boggles the mind. Plenty of critics are diehard lovers of all things Vilmart as well, from Vinous’ Antonio Galloni to the revered Champagne expert, Peter Liem – who had this to say:

“Vilmart & Cie. is not only one of the greatest grower-estates in Champagne, but one of the finest Champagne producers of any type in the region. ”

So, that settles that! Founded exclusively as a Grower Champagne house (which was quite rare back in 1890), by Désiré Vilmart, Vilmart & Cie Champagne is now firmly rooted in the fifth generation under the guidance of Laurent Champs. Located on the western end of the Grand Montagne (of the Montagne de Reims) in the Premier Cru village of Rilly-la-Montagne, Laurent oversees some 11 hectares of vines – farming all organically, with an ever-increasing incorporation of biodynamic practices.

This Grand Reserve Brut is dominated by pinot noir – clocking in at some roughly 70% of the blend every year. The base here is the 2020 vintage, with reserves from 2019 and 2018 filling out the rest. The base wines are fermented and aged in oak barrels – as the standard style of Vilmart dictates, but are allowed to mature and integrate for some 10 months in barrel before final blending and bottling for aging on the lees. This occurs over 30+ months in the estate’s cellars, to be finished by a Brut level dosage of 8 grams per liter in July of 2022. Now, nearly 18 months later, this exuberant and chiseled Champagne is ready for you!

The wine pours a lusty straw yellow, and immediately the autolytic yeasty and toasty sensations that have come to define the Vilmart style take shape. The captivating notes of toasted almonds and fresh brioche lead the way, with a lightly floral and herbal sensation of chamomile tea and dried herbs. In the mouth, red pears and apples incite a series of flavors that are full, yet restrained. Some white cherries, preserved lemons, and matchstick sensations accent the overall experience, and a long, bright, and textured finish completes the day. The flavors linger as few other Champagnes in this price range can boast, and if you find yourself with eyes closed and a sort of stupefied expression across your face – just know that you are not alone in doing so. Get a few of these and you’ll thank me later!

$48
$87

Retail

45
Flavor Profile: Toasted almonds, brioche, chamomile tea, dried herbs, red pears, apples, white cherries, preserved lemons, and matchsticks.
Dosage: 8 g/L
Farming Method: Biodynamic Practices and certified Viticulture Durable, Ampélos and HVE.

Why We Love It...

Vilmart is Champagne done right. Period, end of sentence, nothing more needs to be said. Of course, I won’t actually stop there, but nevertheless, I’m certain that was where to begin. One of my long-standing favorite producers, with a consistency and quality of style across their portfolio and down through the years that would make any house, indeed any producer of wines the world over, incredibly jealous. Even this – their most entry-level, non-vintage offering gives you a glimpse into the sublime…and for the elusive under $50 Grower Champagne class – this takes home top marks!

These wines resonate a chord so absolutely above its price range, it boggles the mind. Plenty of critics are diehard lovers of all things Vilmart as well, from Vinous’ Antonio Galloni to the revered Champagne expert, Peter Liem – who had this to say:

“Vilmart & Cie. is not only one of the greatest grower-estates in Champagne, but one of the finest Champagne producers of any type in the region. ”

So, that settles that! Founded exclusively as a Grower Champagne house (which was quite rare back in 1890), by Désiré Vilmart, Vilmart & Cie Champagne is now firmly rooted in the fifth generation under the guidance of Laurent Champs. Located on the western end of the Grand Montagne (of the Montagne de Reims) in the Premier Cru village of Rilly-la-Montagne, Laurent oversees some 11 hectares of vines – farming all organically, with an ever-increasing incorporation of biodynamic practices.

This Grand Reserve Brut is dominated by pinot noir – clocking in at some roughly 70% of the blend every year. The base here is the 2020 vintage, with reserves from 2019 and 2018 filling out the rest. The base wines are fermented and aged in oak barrels – as the standard style of Vilmart dictates, but are allowed to mature and integrate for some 10 months in barrel before final blending and bottling for aging on the lees. This occurs over 30+ months in the estate’s cellars, to be finished by a Brut level dosage of 8 grams per liter in July of 2022. Now, nearly 18 months later, this exuberant and chiseled Champagne is ready for you!

The wine pours a lusty straw yellow, and immediately the autolytic yeasty and toasty sensations that have come to define the Vilmart style take shape. The captivating notes of toasted almonds and fresh brioche lead the way, with a lightly floral and herbal sensation of chamomile tea and dried herbs. In the mouth, red pears and apples incite a series of flavors that are full, yet restrained. Some white cherries, preserved lemons, and matchstick sensations accent the overall experience, and a long, bright, and textured finish completes the day. The flavors linger as few other Champagnes in this price range can boast, and if you find yourself with eyes closed and a sort of stupefied expression across your face – just know that you are not alone in doing so. Get a few of these and you’ll thank me later!

Fizz Meter

Technical Details

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Appellation: Montagne de Reims
Varietal: Champagne Blends
Blend: 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay
Winemaker: Laurent Champs
Farming Method: Biodynamic Practices and certified Viticulture Durable, Ampélos and HVE.
Oak: 100% Barrel Fermented
Alcohol: 12.5%
Pair it with: Pate en croute

About the Producer

Since 1820, Ameztoi has been the most respected producer in the region of Getariako Txakolina. They produce both traditional wines in large barrels and they were the inventor of rosé txakolina and one of the first to do méthode traditionnelle sparkling wines in the region. They own 20 hectares of vineyards planted high on the seaside cliffs of the village of Getaria. Ignacio Ameztoi is fifth generation and has played an important role in the development and innovation in Getariako Txakolina over the last 10 years.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Reserve Brut NV

$48
$87

Retail

45

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