Vilmart & Cie.

Wood-aged base wines lend these Champagnes their distinctly mealy and Burgundian flavors. They’re often described as the best grower in Champagne. Vilmart’s wines can offer a resonance and majesty unique among small estates. Peter Liem writes: “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.”

It’s clear to me Vilmart is a Champagne estate of unassailable consequence, a must-have for anyone interested in the possibilities of this most suavely powerful and graceful of all wines. Casks are hardly the point any more. Organic viticulture, (truly!) low yields, remarkable polish of fruit, and the deliberate patient pursuit of a vision of perfection make Laurent Champs’ estate a gemstone gleaming among the chalk. At best, Vilmart’s wines are grandiose and resplendent. With sufficient bottle-age these can take you up and up into rare altitudes of complexity. Even at ground-level they’ve got lots of flavor, as though the flavors were stated in BOLD CAPS.  ~Terry Theise

Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee Label

Producer website

Available Wines

Vilmart 2007 Coeur de Cuvee

Deg 3/2014. This will continue Laurent’s streak of making the best wine in Champagne from “difficult” vintages, and indeed this is as good as the GREAT 2001—and maybe better. It brings a nettle-y green sting to the magnificent grace and concentration of this ever-improving wine. The length is replete with pepper, leather and verbena; the salt and stocky savor are mindbending — dried porcini, rare duck breast, clove and satsumas, all into a seemingly endless finish you want scoop back out of your mouth and drink again.  ~Terry Theise

Vilmart 2011 Grand Cellier d’Or

Oh man: yes yes yes! This takes the sinewy profile of 2010 and uses it to stir these flavors with steel; insanely vivid and incisive; wonderful from both glasses but especially the Juhlin, where its stiletto attack is even better integrated; whippy and tight but sexy and feline; like drinking Champagne with a lynx. Never had anything like this. Deg 3/2014.  ~Terry Theise