Nose: Brioche, almonds, and apple turnover. On the palate this is very elegant. Great depth. Mouth coating bubbles with flavors of honey, pear, clove, and ginger. Finishes with fresh acidity and some kind of hazelnut-underbrush concoction (or something). Long finish. Great Champagne.
Utterly fantastic. Balanced, with a lovely touch of honeyed richness that made this irresistible, with a certain quality and depth that made me think of Montrachets. Might have gotten lucky with this bottle, but this will certainly spur deeper future purchases on my part.
Coloring is light yellow with a green undertone. I detected a slight sweetness, green apple and cherry, that the others didn't. It reminded me of a sour apple jolly rancher but not that overt. Medium acidity and very fine bubbles. Really nice length on the finish.
Starts off with green apple and strawberry that is married nicely to quite a bit of lemony acidity, finishing with a rugged, zesty quality. It settles down and evens out with air, drinking nicely. Enjoyed this.
From 75cl. Batch L 11 12. Impression identical to my TN of 31.12.2014: Showed best immediately after opening, at fridge temperature. As it warmed up, the designation "Brut" became very relative (demi-sec, anyone?) Good juice nonetheless, with plenty of red apple-led guts. I have rated this higher in the past, but the best I can offer for this bottle is 87-88P(?)
Another great bottle. Very refreshing. Light on its feet, clear palate, fresh, precise, no fat. Pear, light dough notes. There is a slight suggestion of sweetness, but I believe that is just the freshness and clarity of the palate. With R.
Intense nose of vitamin C powder and dry chalk. The minerality is amazing. Breadfruit, stone fruit, and grapefruit on the nose and palate. Extreme effervescence and nice mouse. Opens up nicely over a few hours with more citrus showing up in addition to the chalky vitamins. Drinks very young but with complexity to keep you interested. Very enjoyable.
Pale gold color. Drank 2 glasses over 90 minutes. Showing wonderful purity and elegance, almost weightless with pear, pear glace, lemon chiffon, white flowers, subtle yeast. The palate is again very clean and fresh, elegant, light with great focus, pear, lemon, light apple skin, long, fine minerality. Disgorged 07/13.
Not as bright as the bottle I brought to Amali with James and Fernando a week or so prior, this one is much more compact, more inward focused, much drier and more minerally than that first bottle, but still lovely body. Very well received. At the Pierre pre Skurnik pre Phish.
My bottles do not bear the Brut designation. Disgorged June 2014. 70% Chard, 30% Pinot Noir. Absolutely lovely, clear, bright, fresh and long. I loved it, and well received by all. Amali with James and Fernando. Bottle 1 of 12.
North Shore Weekend; 9/24/2015-9/26/2015 (North Shore, MN): Light gold color. Drank several glasses over 3 hours. Aggressive fine bead, citrus pear, almond, and mild yeast. The palate is tasty, pear, apple skin, citrus, clean with good stony minerality, almond paste, balanced a nice finish. Very good 92+pts.
Light gold color. Drank 2+ glasses with dinner over an hour. As always a wonderful Champagne. Balanced all around and finessed. Very fine bead, pear, apple, yeast and mineral nose. The palate is delicate, light and lifted, fine acidity buoys the vibrant citrus infused pear, apple, and apple skin flavors, along with almond cream, yeast, and a long finish. So nice. 92+pts.
Opened yesterday, consumed half the bottle, and saved the rest for today. Disgorged 12/2011...so 4 years of additional bottle age. 9 g/L dosage. Malo blocked in this cuvee. Remember, this wine is aged in oak, and this definitely impacts the flavor profile. Today, the wine is better after having been opened a day and re-corked. Fine, constant stream of bubbles. Nose is lively, with cinnamon, red apple, lemon/lime, creamsicle, and chalk. The palate is full in body, with quite lively acidity, and relatively bold flavors of red apple skin, cooking spices, pear and lemon, vanilla, and honey. Even through all these abundant flavors, the soil signature is apparent (way more so on the 2nd day than the first). The wine shows it's pedigree and lives up to it's expectation, finishing long and full, with a definite acid cut at the end of the lingering finish, earning points for style and grace. A real beauty, drinking utterly refined and perfect on the 2nd day the bottle was opened...making me think this disgorgement may continue to improve with another year in the bottle, and drink at it's apogee through 2020+. Delicious.
Disgorged in 2012 I think, based on purchase date. Lovely nose; brioche, citrus, green apple. Fine mousse, with leaner lemon and green apple fruit followed by a backbone of excellent acidity. Fresh, clean, and lively.
From 75cl, v. good layered champagne cork, same batch as my previous TNs. Superbly aromatic, apple-dominated palate, gentle but persistent bubbles, very long, tingling apple-acidic finish. My previous bottle must have been faulty (or my palate was shot on 31.12.2014, which is, I admit, a possibility) as the dosage seems perfectly in balance here. 91P
When I opened this on Friday night I thought it had been in the cellar for about 8 years. Turns out I had bought it 11 years ago. What a fantastic surprise this was. The flavors were full and rich, with lots of fresh nuts, wheat toast and bright apple. The mouse was still very vibrant, and the finish was fresh and persistent. This was even more of a pleasant surprise looking at the old $39.99 price sticker!
Purchased four years ago. Straight cork. Pale colour, fine stream of small bubbles. Warm bready nose. Nicely creamy mousse. Very drinkable; ripe entry, reasonably minerally through the mid palate and finishes well. A crowd pleaser helped by what feels quite a high dosage. Quite elegant. ***
HDH Burgundy Auction (Chicago, IL): Apple-fresh on the nose, with a very juicy and approachable character. Lovely juiciness on the palate as well. Quite linear and fresh, with a good green apple character. Open and very delicious.
This was the last bottle from a batch bought in 2010. It's been interesting to see this Champagne evolve over time.
The extra time it sat didn't diminish it but it didn't add anything either. Overall for this batch the 1st 1-2 years saw the biggest (& best) changes as it integrated. - Good bead on the wine. Golden apple & pear were predominant on the nose & palate. Well integrated wood notes which added some complexity were present as well.
From 75cl, perfect if shrunken crown cork. As previously noted, but tonight the rather heavy dosage (9g? really?) dominated. Showed best immediately after opening, at fridge temperature. As it warmed up, the designation "Brut" became very relative (demi-sec, anyone?) Good juice nonetheless, with plenty of red apple-led guts. I have rated this higher in the past, but the best I can offer for this bottle is 88P(?)
With Christmas Day canapés. Six months of bottle age (unsurprisingly) haven't changed this much. Still primary and young - initially very citrusy on the nose but this soon blossomed into a richer expression with notes of honey, red apple, walnut and toast. The richness carried through onto the palate which felt very Vilmart. However the wine was a touch disjointed vs the vintage bottlings and I expect would be much better after a couple of years. Remains an excellent value NV **1/2 (***)
I might have opened this too early, and I certainly didn't have good stemware. The restaurant had crappy flutes and it was much better in a red wine glass, but still not great. At this stage, it was dominated by green apple and lemon with hints of warm brioche. Enjoyable, but I'm a fan of Vilmart and was expecting more. Sorry, I didn't note the disgorgement date on the bottle, but based on notes from the wine shop I purchased this from, the date is 07/23/13.
Don't know why but this btl wowed me less than a previous btl in September. This one is from a new shipment though and possibly a different vintage blend than the last. Still very very good but no wow.
At a retailer tasting. 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. The base for this NV is the 2010 vintage. Aged 10 months in wood. Very floral nose. A wine in need of aging. It has a sweet/sour component at the present time. Feminine style which was surprising based on the wood aging with notes of lemons, citrus fruit and chalk. 91+ points.
HDH Bordeaux Auction; 10/31/2014-11/1/2014 (Chicago, IL): This is a very apple-dominated champagne, both on the nose and the palate. The nose has just a bit of red delicious apple to it, as well as a mild bready note. This is quite light on the palate, with a slightly chalky texture and some green apple acidity and flavour. Alas, the finish comes off a bit harsh and bitter, which sadly detracts a lot from the awesomeness of this wine.
What's all this then? Six months of cellaring - and it's still young and a little closed and tart, but has clearly matured w a richer and more complex palate. Brioche, honey, hazelnut, almond. Pear, red grapefruit, very crisp acidity which is beginning to integrate. Surprising development, this is evolving quicker than expected. Very rewarding.
Nose: The nose is very classy and elegant with baked breads, white fruits, citrus tones, minerals, fresh picked berries, and a good bit of red apples. There is excellent depth with the tones being extremely balanced.
Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium/high acidity. There is excellent depth and class to the feel with baked breads, white fruits, minerals, fresh picked berries, and a lot of red apples.
Overall: This is a lovely NV champagne. It shows off a lot of depth and class with a style that really just draws you in.
Stunning champagne. Cork date disgorged 09/13. What a beauty - great concentration of lemon zest on the palate, really explodes in the mouth. Gosh, this must be one of THE best champagnes in terms of value selling at €28 directly at Vilmart. I picked these up last month, not sure anymore if I bought 12 or 18, I hope the latter. This drinks very well now, and I am very positive that it will only improve with age. This is on top form and I am of the firm believe that it rivals if not surpasses a Krug NV or LP Grand Siecle making it one of the best NV champagnes. If you love champagne, don't miss this.
Light gold color. Split bottle over 3 hours...though my wife insists I drank 75%, but then she can be mildly prone to exaggeration, maybe it was 60% :) . At any rate this was quite delightful. I will echo many of chablis28 recent comments. Very elegant and just darn tasty. I was really struck by the fresh sea breeze and shell minerality, subtle toast, pear, citrus. The palate is so fresh and lively, bright and lovely, pear, apple, and mild citrus with just a touch of funk, yeast and mineral on a long finish. 93+ to 94pts.
Pretty light gold color. Rich, smoky, and impressive. Intense, concentrated and mouth coating without being heavy at all. Superb elegance and very intellectual. A real head turner. I also think the extra 2-1/2 years I've held onto to these since receiving in March 2012 have paid off in better integration of the oak. A complex blend of citrus, tropical and stoniness. Too bad the cool fat btls demand so much space in my snug cabinets or I'd buy this by the case! This wine drinks more like a big house vintage dated $120+ Tete Cuvee than the $50 I paid for it. I looked it up on WS and this can still be bought today for just under $60. 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. Going back for 2-3 more. One of the best values for $60 in Champagne.
acquired 2010, a touch more green apple and sharper flavors than the similarly aged NV Larmandier with which it shared the table, very bright and very refreshing, a bit more fruit and acid driven, yeastiness very much in the background, a lovely wine that I'd imagine would continue to develop if only I had more
Bizarre. Tasted over 3 days. Day 1 and 2 the wine was pleasant, but relatively mute and disappointing. I suspected it was over the hill. Then, on day 3, it opened up and revealed layers of fruit (some fresh citrus, some evolved apricot/peach) with a generous presence, and a rich, even creamy texture.
Bottle appears to have been disgorged in July 2013 so relatively young. Showing it, too, with a pale lemon color, and a light nose of lemon seltzer with a hint of salinity.
Crisp and undemanding on the palate, slightly smoky and with with medium acidity. Rather undistinguished, though I appreciate I likely caught it too young. But I do wonder whether the material is here to improve with age. For now, a nice aperitif but not much more and therefore rather disappointing value.
Very pale yellow with fine vigorous beads. Apples, citrus oils, white flowers and fresh baked bread on the nose. A lush and creamy palate reveals copious amounts of green-yellow fruits, some toasted nuts and hint of honey and vanilla on the finish. A very nice, round and mouth filling champagne.
Pale greenish color. PNP, drank 2 glasses over an hour. Extremely fine, aggressive bead. The nose is floral, fresh cut apple, citrus hints and mineral, then adds a burst of strawberry after 15-20 minutes. The palate is quite fresh and elegant, apple, pear, creamy, sea foam, minerals, strawberry, a touch of citrus and very long finish. This just dances effortlessly across the palate. This was a fabulous way to toast our son's college graduation. Outstanding! 93+ to 94pts.
Le potentiel de garde est sans aucun doute grandiose. Ce champagne aux fines bulles et à l'acidité surprenante dégage des arômes de citron et de chèvrefeuille. Prochaine bouteille dans 3 ans ! Dégorgement 2012
In need of a glass of fizz, reached for this... apple flavours on this bottle, and very light... tasted blind, I'd have said this was a damn fine Prosecco... which is hardly a compliment, all things told..
Very light in color and nose, really complex both nose and palate, lingers in the mouth for a couple of minutes. However-lacks concentration, diluted but very pleasant notes of white flowers and tropical fruitd. Acidity is pleasant, mouthfeel is rich, crisp yet creamy. A perfect aperitif, but the liw concentration of aromas makes it hard to appreciate fully.
Weekend in Cleveland; 4/4/2014-4/8/2014: Disgorged 12/2011. Stunning bubbly, rich mousse, full bodied, notes of honey, warm bread crust, lemon meringue pie, and a steely minerality. Beautiful acidity to balance the slight residual sugar. Finish goes on and on. This Champagne is better than it was even just 6 mos ago. Will continue to improve in bottle for 3 years and drink beautifully through 2020+.
Brought this Champagne to a birthday dinner at Daveed's Next. Was an aperitif, and enjoyed with some seafood throughout dinner. Fantastic, creamy and rich on the palate, while simultaneously tart, citrusy, with laser sharp acidity. This is the 12/2011 disgorgement, it is fantastic, delicious, great WFTM, will drink well through 2022+.
Pale yellow; tasted after having sat in the glass for 1 hour, all of the bubbles were gone (which I sometimes prefer), less lift but the wine was more like a 1er Cru Chablis, apple and lemon, graphite, broad on the palate with nice richness, finishes with palpable chalky minerality; good.
Three years after release, and with a cork that extracted soundlessly, still an infant, very pale in color, showing no particular character of any kind. Even after settling in a Riedel flute, continues forming une coronne moussant. Very strange behavior. More time should serve it well. Judgment reserved.
Burgs and Rieslings at Amali (Amali, NYC): At first this comes across a bit austere and tart, with green apple and pear fruit tinged with biscuit and yeasty notes, but as this warms up and breathes it starts to show more depth and presence on the palate. Lovely way to start the evening.
Never had this lovely champagne until recently and was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was as an alternative to many mainstream champagnes at a much higher price point. Lovely lemon custard, beautiful, balanced acidity. Drinks well all alone but pairs even better with several fish dishes we've had. All in all a great champagne for the price.
Clear, bright, light golden color. Releasing a steady, consistent stream if fine bubbles that persist from bottle opening to completion. Produces a light mousse in the glass on pouring that collapses gently and slowly. Visually beautiful.
L12 11 (disgorged Dec 2011). Very rich, supple mousse. A full bodied Champagne, more enjoyable with food (home made crab cakes tonite). Tastes alongside Charton-Taillet this evening. These wines were quite different, the C-T was absolutely delicious and enjoyable upfront, whereas the Vilmart was delicious but more complex and some notes of evident new oak. There is an extremely long lip-puckering finish on this wine, with a back end austerity that will integrate with time. The raw materials seem great. This Vilmart will drink better starting mid 2014, and drink well through 2023.
This is a wonderful alternative to mainstream champagne. Brisk minerality and plenty of citrus which melt into a round custard as the effervescence persists. Clean and long finish. I had the first bottle out of a styrofoam cup and (shocker) it didn't show as well as the second bottle. Still a bit young and will likely wait 2-3 years to see where the rest go, though it wouldn't hurt my feelings if I drank through them now.
5th Somewhat Annual Blind Bubbly Dinner (Riverpark, NYC): Another lovely bubbly. Super clean and crisp nose offers notes of slightly yeasty lemony quartz, with white and yellow fruits in the mix balanced out by a bright acidity (yes, even on the nose, you could tell it was crisp). The rich palate was somewhat linear in a good way, a slightly fat but focused laser beam that brought the flavors together and led them to their eventual long and tart finish. Gorgeous.
My first Vilmart ever! It came off the truck yesterday, I'm trying one of my bottles today. Certainly not ideal, but was too anxious... Lot "L12 11" which I assume means disgorged Dec 2011. This sparkling wine is clear, showing a fine stream of tiny bubbles, med straw in color at the core, with a watery rim. The nose is clean, developing, with med(+) aromas of bread yeast, apple, smoke, tangerine, and minerality. The palate shows a wine with some gently apparent residual sugar, with med body, a fine and creamy mousse, and med(-) alcohol (listed at 12.5% abv). The flavors are med intensity, including baked apples, pear, orange and tangerine, as well as chalky minerals, and honey. There is a rich and creamy texture to the palate, which is cut to the quick, and then some, by the med(+) acidity. The wine has a med(+) length finish that is laden with citrus curd, giving it great lift. This wine is richer and more balanced than most Champagnes I have tasted in this price range. Lovely balance between sweetness and acidity. Well structured, built to last, will definitely improve for another 3 years in bottle and drink well through 2020 or so.
Crust, thick of Italian bread origin. Ripe citrus on the palate. A brown wallpaper with floral edging. Rustic whipped cream. Best with a couple two, tree years from disgorgement. This bottle again, does not have a disgorgement date printed on it, so late 2012, early 2013 would be the case.
Disgorged Feb 2011....less sweet, more citrus brightness, not as soft as the 2-10.....still nice lemon and ginger...yeast and salty minerals.....reminded me of Pierre Peters Les Chetillion.....I like this disgorgement better!
Had at home with sushi, wonderful nose with green apple, pears and a hint of yeast, great acidity with wonderful fruit on the palate, a good mouth feel and a soft, long finish. I would drink this every day if I could
A more recent disgorgement than the last bottle I had in July. But still, no disgorgement date stamped on the back of this one. 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. Robust and brown leesy aromas. Cream and cookie, dried flower with a more extracted feel on the palate, followed by a touch of red fruit. Later that night. Big and cake-y aromas. red fruit and biscuit/shortcake. on the palate more of a dried flower note really pokes through. on all this body, the acid screams right though. a hint sandalwood-y. a cherry note rides out the finish. almost a Luxardo Maraschino style, spiced cherry expression. This is great now, but really benefits from a couple of years in the cellar.
Disgorged 2011. Opened 1 hr prior. Took a while to gain composure. Started off rather awfully. Very tart, lean and rather abrasive alcohol. Opened up nicely with more time in bottle. Nice orange blossom, red apple and ginger beer nuances. Not very complex but still a nice drink no doubt.
Institute of Masters of Wine 9th Annual Champagne Tasting (San Francisco): nose: closed for business palate: nothing like I expected, this was very lemon-limey, with intense citrus, but barely an evidence of the oaky richness I always taste in Vilmart. While it did have heft, the citrus was practically overpowering. Not sure of the base vintages, but this was disgorged in 2012. Perhaps just too new.
Man this is good...has a nice cream to it, mouth coating lemon/ginger meringue suds...seems a higher dosage?..but not too sweet. Fresh and alive lemon citrus, green apple, melon drizzled with honey.....the bubbles are small and crisp...wonderful balance with some yeastiness, pretty florals, salty minerality. Easy drinkin tasty stuff here....slightly softer than I would prefer...but hell, I had to nitpick something! Great bubbly!
Jura, Puligny Montrachet and Champagne; 9/8/2013-9/20/2013: Powerful green apple and lime scent; the entry is sharp and ripe like biting into a perfect Cox Orange apple, perhaps a hint of candied ginger; ripe red apple mid-palate and a long, satisfying finish with layers of ruby grapefruit, grapefruit-peel oil and more ginger. My personal "coup de coeur" for the best QPR of all the wines tasted this trip. 70% Chard, 30% PN, no malo, disgorged November 2012, 9g dosage. I forgot to write down the age of the wines blended, but think they were from the 2009/2010 vintages. Great now and for at least another 3 years. 26 EUR at cellar door. 91P
Mixed Wines Offline (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Pale gold color. Lovely nose with lime, citrus, green apple, yeast, floral. The palate is very bright and lifted, very good energy, lime, lemon, apple, minerals, yeast. Very clean and a long finish. This was my #3 WOTN and group #4 by a point. 92+pts.
Drinking absolutely fantastic right now. Oh, the benefits of stuffing away some of these NV cuvée. Robust and red fruit with balance to convince those who often shy away from Champagne for its more angular approach.
Muy joven, la acidez todavia por domar pero lo que hay aquí es grande. Fino, elegante, aromatico, pasteleria, citricos. Boca sublime, vertical, limpia, concentrada, mineral, diría que aquí hay terroir.
Dinner with Kent; 4/25/2013-5/1/2013 (Bella Trattoria, San Francisco): Pale yellow-green color; fresh non-oxidative nose (surprising...), apple; palate is fresh, simple, balanced, short; finish is short, apple. This is a decent balanced and enjoyable champagne as a daily drinker, but I would not buy since it does not have complexity or unique character. 88-89
2009 base with some 07 & 08. 70% Chardonnay 30% Pinot Noir Clean, pale yellow with fine persistant beads. Tight but elegant nose of brioche, white flowers, mild citrus and peach. Acidic freshness does not distract you from the white fruits & lemon finish. Lovely mouth feel. Moderate length. Lovely now and would improve with more bottle age.
a little toasty, yeasty and nutty amongst the stone fruit notes with a touch of vanilla peaking through; full body; good minerality; another complex and enjoyable bubbly in an evening so far replete with such.
Nose of caramel, ginger, biscuit, lemon, lime zest. There is nice stuff going on but you really have to dig. On first sniff, it seems a touch muted. Palate has a streak of minerality and some pretty citrus fruit but is also overlayed with a certain textural weight and auxiliary flavours of toffee, caramel and hazelnuts which add nice complexity. What keeps this wine from being a notch above other NV's is the lack of integration. The acid really does take centre stage and pushes all of the great flavours into the back... Finish is medium in length and not overly complex. Have to say I am bit surprised given the reputation of Vilmart......this does not even come close to the Coeur de Cuvee and for the price, is not a re-buy in my mind.
Super young and tight initially. Tart, sour fruit on my first taste. Shy aromatics. I even allowed the last glass to warm up which can bring out the profile, but not tonight. This barely budges over the course of an hour and a half. My other bottles will get at least a year of rest.
Another Thanksgiving wine that disappeared in a flash. Sometimes it sucks to be the cook and to get a short pour. Gloriously creamy and delicate already. I just love the style. One of my New Year's resolutions for the coming year will be to buy, drink and cellar much more Vilmart.
I was hugely impressed with this bottle, my first taste of Vilmart. From the seemingly warring factions of seduction and seriousness emerges a wine of great finesse and power. Chardonnay dominant, this cuvee exhibits generous orchard fruits laced with overtones of smoky oak. The acid spike on the finish, which immediately refreshes the sweet (10g dosage), succulent baked fruits on the attack, is the key to this wine's structural fortitude. This is a producer whose wines are in need of further exploration.
Although this was quite young and a little tight, it still has the trademark depth of orchard fruit that gives the Grand Cellier wines from Vilmart their luxurious sinuousness, here deftly balanced by a firm, chalky line of acidity that creates a dazzling tension in the wine.
Straw color in the glass, clear looking with tiny beading. Nose of lemon zest, dough and brown spices. Flavors of lemon, brandy soaked pears and Granny Smith apples. Bright acidity, full bodied. Drink or hold.
This is lot 3, 10 from the stamp on the front. Not sure what that means. As always the big toasty richness of Vilmart with a clairvoyance running through it. And a savoriness underneath it all. Very hard to beat.
Light gold color with small pearls. Linear texture with a medium finish - Stunning. Very elegant and precise. Nutty, floral, and citrusy. Very nuanced for an NV. Even got some incense aromas as well. My first Vilmart. Sold!
Disgorged in July, 2008 (L 07 08). I let this bottle decant for about 1 hour before drinking it with a sashimi dinner. Everything is wonderfully integrated and balanced right now. Flavors of golden delicious apples, ripe pear, minerality, nuts and light notes of toast. 90 - 91
The Vilmart Grand Cellier is one of the best non-vintage value champagnes on the market. What makes this champagne so great is the level of precision, balance, and nuances of flavor that show themselves on the palate. This is so fresh and lively with a delicassy that is rare among champagnes at any price level. The flavors include birght citrus, apples, peaches, flowers, a touch of yeast, a little bit of spice (from the oak), and nice minerality. This is certainly a chardonnay driven champagne and I have yet to run into anyone who does not like this. The only issue here is with price. Due to Vilmart's popularity, this champagne is usually priced in the $60 to $75 range, which is approaching the price point of leading vintage champagnes from other producers. However, if you can find this for $50 or less, it is a wonderful value.
Crisp & precise but with good fruit too. This is a new btl recently shipped from WH that seemed to show a bit less complexity overall than previous btls. Might be a different mix of vintages or I popped it too early after shipping.
Krugman? Where are you getting this wine at under $40? Vegas? Someone must be taking it in the pants for this wine to get out there at much less than $60. A slut at $40, a gem at $60. No disgorgement date stamped on the back.
The current Grand Cellier is a wonderful floral wine with excellent fruit, balanace and minerality. This is of course best enjoyed as an aperatif, but there is no reason why it could not stand up to light appetizers. Overall, this is one of the better versions of Grand Cellier I have had. I believe it is based primarily off of the 2008 vintage.
Unknown disgorgement date. Pale, tiny bubbles. Fascinating notes of cloves and citrus on the nose. Light, very dry, precise apple and orange fruit, great acidity and a finish dripping with mineral salts. Very high class non-vintage bottling.
Just as good and fresh on night 2-strong showing all around.
This Vilmart continues to drink very well. It is extremely well balanced and has light floral flavors with good minerality. In terms of a quality NV champagne that will appeal to a wide range of champagne drinkers and non-champagne drinkers alike it does not get much better than this Vilmart. However, this is still young and will certainly show further improvment over the next 2-5 years.
Once again the Vilmart Grand Cellier performed very well and showed why it is one of my favorite NV champagnes on the market. It has a wonderful depth of fresh fruit with tangerines, oranges, apples, marmalade, and white bread flavors. It also has a wonderful lightness to it along with good minerality and excellent balance. You cannot go wrong with this in the $40 to $50 price range.
Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de Beze and Clos des Ruchottes dinner (Conrad Hotel, Singapore): Really interesting Champagne - this was a good NV. Needs time though. It had a pretty tight nose, rather earthy, minerally, with a nice touch of exotic spice and just that little bit of citrus fruit opening up into nutty accents with time. The palate had nice grip for a wine made from 1er Cru grapes, with a snappy, bright, indeed almost tart attack with citrus lemon and lime notes streaming away into an absolutely minerally midpalate and a long, bone-dry finish. Very interesting, full of character, wonderfully delineated, but just perhaps a bit too much acidity to be truly enjoyable at the moment. Even a rather rich dish of scallops in squid-ink risotto was not qutie enough to tame this. One to broach in another 3-4 years' time I think. Supern value for its price though.
Effectivement un beau Champagne avec des arômes de pomme au four, d'agrumes, d'amande avec de la minéralité et un léger toast. Bouche généreuse, complexe, au dosage assez présent mais la finale garde tout de même suffisamment d'acidité. Bonne persistance. 26 euros prix caviste : une superbe cuvée au prix d'un brut sans année d'une "grande" maison.
This latest bottle of Vilmart Grand Cellier was even better than the last. It had wonderful effervesence along with light and extrememly well balanced citrus fruit and minerality. This is one of those bottles that is hard not to like. It appeals to veteran champagne drinkers and non-champagne drinkers alike. The Vilmart fruit is very fresh and flavorful, but without going over the top. This new bottle is based off of 2008 fruit and is one of the best bottles of Grand Cellier that I have had. To me the is a no brainer buy if you can find it between $40 and $50 per bottle. However, once you get into the mid-$60 territory that some retailers sell this for, there are a wealth of other quality bottles that stack up much better with this champagne.
These bottles were fresh of the boast and had wonderful effervescence. These were some of the better Grand Cellier bottles that I remember having, with a wide range of subtle flavors including pineapple, chalk, and minerals. The balance of this wine was also perfect, with all of the flavors being very subtle yet apparent at the same time. This is a great go to NV champagne if you can get it for less than $45.
Wow. Really lovely... Gotta find more. I love this style of bubbly... It has the complexity to be enjoyed alone - but, with a nice bit of acid to break through food. Lots of citrus and yeast with some flint on the backend.
Champagne Tasting (Waterford): Also known as Baby Krug but I struggle to find the similiarities. 70% Pinot remaining Chardonnay from Premier Cru of Rilly la Montagne. From a blend of 50% 24 months, 25% 36 months, 25% 48 months on the lees. Yeasty and breast on the nose. Palate is slightly creamy with liquorice notes slightly fabby.
A go-to bottle of wine, this Champagne has never failed to deliver the goods. The initial impression on opening is baking bread, this from the bottle before pouring. In the glass, orange and orange blossom, rich, deep and persistent. A high class performance.
Pale golden color. Fruity nose which grabs attention and holds on firmly. Some citrus and stone fruit with just a hint of yeasty notes. Medium bodied, lush Champagne. Sweet pear fruit sweeps over the mid palate while simultaeously showing off an excellent backbone of acidic structure. Some mineral notes emerge on the back of the palate along with some soft, tart citrus notes which persist trough the long finish. Good stuff!
Beautiful as always. After just having vintage Krug the night before I don't quite get the comparison between the two. But alas, at vintage Krug prices I probably won't have a back to back experience again.
Beautiful fine bead, pale golden color. Biscuits and baked apples, along with some citrus on the nose. Wonderful mouthfeel. Dough, green apples (apple pie?), and a lingering honey finish. It doesn't have quite the long finish of complexity of the best, but very good..... I'd rate this slightly above the Pierre Peters that is one of my other favorite NV growers.
This has wonderfully pure chardonnay based fruit that is balanced very well by its minerality. However, you can tell that it is still holding a bit back and I would not be surprised to see further improvement in another couple of years. This is a wonderful champagne to serve to people who are not big champagne fans as they will almost certainly love this.
2011 Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting (San Francisco, CA): Outstanding! Medium yellow color. Rich spicy/toasty baked apple aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: pear, apple, spice, with hints of toasty oak. Medium-long finish. Fantastic – amongst of my favorite non-vintage Champagne of the tasting. Slightly down in quality from my last few tastings, but still a fabulous non-vintage.
-- popped and poured -- -- tasted a couple glasses non-blind over approximately one hour --
Expressive apple and minerals on the Nose. Medium, persistent bead. Airy, rich, and well-defined on the palate. Lacking the cutting acidity of the best Champagnes; nonetheless, there's a lot of bang for your buck in this bottle of bubbly. Gut impression score: 90 - 92. This paired beautifully with a crab and cucumber appetizer.
Wonderful deep fruit flavors including pears, grapefruit, and apples. Also a very subtle butter flavor that is in contrast to the prominent minerality. A a very good NV champagne, however the value of this champagne depends on how much you pay for it given that it seems to range from $39 to $75.
Definitely one of my top five non vintage champagnes. Great depth and concentration and it seems to get even better after a few years in the cellar. Pretty nose of creamy mouse, lemon zest, toasted almonds and fluffy baked dough aromas. Palate is nicely balanced with great richness and flavour with supporting acids. Nice fine bubbles, wonderful length, more yeasty components, citrus fruit and apple skin. The complete package and one of my favorites.
Bottle to Celebrate the arrival of our baby given to us by my coworker Disgorged 12/07 Initial aromatics are of lemon cream and a touch of yeast. Expansive texture due to bracing acidity and fine bubbles. Solid wine with good structure. Should open up nicely. 2nd Glass is really opening up and showing some green apple. Tasty wine
Took to my wife's parents for a b-day dinner. Notes very similar to before. N: Strong lemon cream, a little marshmellow, and yeast. P: little vanilla, then lemon, raspberry, brioche, and yeast. F: The finish was above average in length and there were really nice bubbles going on. Overall this is a great grower bubbles at the 45$ I paid for it. 90-91
Lighter golden color, very effervescent. Aromas of chalk/minerality and a hint of berry fruit. Wonderful big lemon mousse body and a touch of vanilla. The last glass a few hours later, and much warmer, had a distinct sweet apple profile.
Champagne Producer Tour, 2011 (Champagne, France): Tasted with Laurent blend of 2006, 2007 and 2008 wines. 30% PN, 70% Chardonnay. More volumptuous in fruit (and more red fruit) than the Grand Reserve tasted previous. the nose had a lovely chalky scent to complement the red fruit and the palate had a longer finish with more complete flavors. Laurent suggested aging no more than 3-5 years.
Pale straw, very good, fast and persistent stream of very fine bubbles. Cork still young and springy. A nicely bready nose. Quite ripe and with a sense of dosage on the palate. Starting to show some complexity with notes of ginger and warm bread though the dosage is evident on the creamy, slightly sweet finish. Could do with a couple of years to be really interesting. ***
Smooth and round suggesting some age here. Niels confirmed he bought this bottle at the domaine 5 yrs ago. Some green fruit, pear, and yeast. Just a hint of cork, but not enough to make the wine undrinkable. And off the evening went. In NYC, Weehawken, with Niels and his wife.
Popped and poured. Medium-light lemon/straw hue, persistent bead. Pronounced aromatically, with aromas of stone fruits, ripe apples, biscuit, and a hint of toasted oak (not terribly complex, but quite nice). Light to medium-light body. On the palate, the fruit is forceful and pronounced, with this particular bottle showing prominent Pinot-fruit characteristics of red berries such as raspberry and strawberry complimented by additional notes of apple, cream, and a touch of spice from oak. Medium-plus acidity keeps it refreshing on the moderate close. Not a wine to contemplate, but rather a delightful expression of fruit made in a style almost too easy to hedonistically guzzle down.
So yummy. Complex and rich bubbly style, soundly tethered to earthy nose. Gave rise to round flavors of apple, vanilla biscuit, toast with sliced baked pear, and some mangosteen. There was a little herbaceous component to the flavor profile.
Giallo paglierino carico, naso molto minerale e quasi ancora floreale, con leggere note di frutta bianca, bocca fresca, carbonica fine, abbastanza persistente come finale sapido.Ha una beva pazzesca per precisione e bontà, ma secondo me sembra che manchi in bocca di quella "struttura" che hanno molti altri piccoli vigneron a pari prezzo.
I love Vilmart's knack for blending power and finesse. The nose reveals white blossoms, apple, toasty oak and herbs. The palate is quite concentrated but also effortless in its delivery with apple blossom and lemon confit supported by well judged amounts of oaky spice.
This was initially a very shy wine, but with some time open it developed nice brioche aromas. The palate, however, remained quite simple and straightforward. Ultimately, this bottle never rose above a whisper and never had the sneaky complexity of previous ones. L 06 07.
Lot # on the label: L06 07. Light gold. Lively effervescence. Nose of yeast, cream soda, smoke, and pear. Full rich palate of apple, pear, yeast, and vanilla. Creamy mouthfeel. Very refreshing acidity. Persistent, dry finish. Beautiful balance and elegance. Lovely NV Champagne.
Boys nite II, fall 2010 (Reno, NV): This is a wine that I'm familiar with and a bottle that had a weak showing. The bottle lacked freshness and verve and seemed slightly dull overall. Interesting on CT how these NV notes go, obviously everyone is tasting different wines as the blends change every year though all the comments below imply we are all drinking the same wine... this has been in my cellar for at least 4 years so maybe this was just past its prime. 'Below average' wine tonight, a piece of data that I wouldn't use to support any conclusions about this wine in general.
2010 Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting (San Francisco, CA): Superb! Straw-yellow color. Rich nose: apple, dried flowers, and toasty oak aroma. Full-bodied palate: apple, spice, and minerals on this, huge palate rounded out with buttery toasty oak. Long finish. I really enjoy this oaky style – but it might be a bit much for some. Fantastic – one of my favorite non-vintages of the evening and the best showing I’ve had yet of this incredible wine.
An outstanding showing of this Champagne. Notes of ocean spray, lemon, chalk, and oyster shells. Bright and intensely flavored, almost like a sparkling Chablis. Tangy finish. A wonderful wine! 92-93 points.
No indication of disgorgement date. Pale yellow with a lively mousse. Fresh aromas of lemon brioche, ripe apple, peach and flowers. Just on the sweet side of "brut" but that works well with the full bodied flavors of rope peach, citrus and just a touch of minerality. There's just enough acidity to make it work right now. Not one I'd cellar.
very nice indeed! Chardonnay dominated? Very fine vinuous feel to this wine, with some interesting herbal notes as well as the apple, yuzu, papaya and lime, kiwi fruit that others have pointed out. Mousse is nice and not too aggressive.
Disgorged on 3/2007. Stingy on the nose with muted aromas of honey oat toast, chalk, and flint. The palate is tangy and taut with notes of unripe nectarines, lemon pulp, and kiwi fruit. Lean and chalky with a touch of salinity on the finish. While well-framed and ultimately enjoyable, I have had better bottles of this Champagne in the past.
Lot's of foam, pale yellow. Sweet lemon, apple skin, phenolic and complex, intense nose. Tight bubbles, tart acidity counter-balanced by surprisingly sweet tasting fruit. Medium length. This got much better with air as it warmed up.
A light and delicate Champagne. It is also very easy to be liked as it has quite complex nose with strong citrus flavour. Bubble is quite fine even though I found it a little bit too aggressive. Recommended.
sparkling (Waterford Wine Co., Milwaukee): wow, this shows like rich, more aged chardonnay. i think of the 94 kalin cellars i've been enjoying recently, or more properly here, 05 ridge SCM chard. rich lush minerality. elegant petrol. 'gold label'
Grower Champagnes (Cohen residence - Irvine, CA): An outstanding showing of this wine. Riesling-like aromas of nectarines and peach pit followed by a tangy palate of apricot, lemon drops, ginger, and crushed minerals. This is a wine with exceptional manners.
Brilliant straw colored. Very fine bubbles and wonderfully effervescent on the palate. A little bready and yeasty. Citrus and apple. Medium body and buttery finish. Overall a lovely bottle of Champagne.
N. Nuttiness and intense minerality. Red papery peanut skins. Spiced cranberry, and picks up evergreen. Ana says 'Christmassy' and I believe there's something to that! P. Evergreen, baking spices, but again, unbeatable presence and minerality. This is what all the fuss is about here lately. Ok, I get it now.
Really helped to taste this against other champagnes and not as an anomaly beneath the still ocean of WWC slides.
Tasted at Pike & Western I could not get enough of this. cinnamon, toasty, vanilla spice, just swirls of flavor. it was almost overwhelming (in the best possible way). Super complex, super delicious, super stuff.
Good wine in the Vilmart style. Intense fruit (citrus and apples) and significant depth--the oak is perfectly integrated and gives this some complexity. Nice minerality and long finish. Dialed down a bit from the vintage Grand Cellier--but not much, and I'd love to make this my house Champagne if I could find it for ex-cellar prices in the US.
I honestly think this is the best value NV champagne on the market. It's not the least expensive, but I don't know of anything in this price range that drinks as well. Energetic, citric acidity, a briny, sea spray note, great depth, overarching elegance, and a long, limestone-laden finish.
Champagne (Waterford Wines Milwaukee): more of a cracked wheat in the nose. pinot pronouncement across the nose. light christmas spice...almost a peppermint. wonderfully balanced. what's the dosage here? i'm getting a gentle kiss in a meadow.
Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting (San Francisco, CA): Beautiful! Light yellow with small bubbles and a great bead. Fabulous nose: oaky and earthy with pear and apple showing a touch of oxidation. Nose continues onto the palate with pear, apple, spice, and toast. Medium-long finish. Judicious oakiness throughout. My favorite non-vintage of the tasting! If you’re into barrel-fermented bigger-bodied styles this is a must-try. Incredible value and performance for a non-vintage.
02 07 on the front label. This is just a beautful wine, no ifs ands or buts. J'aime Vilmart! Smoky blood orange and citrus nose, with those notes repeating in a bright fashion on the palate. I'm amazed at how complex this is for a NV wine and it just hangs around on the palate. It's pretty much the best of the yeasty/doughy/leesy world combined with the spicy/smoky/citrus fruitiness world. I can't imagine anyone thinking this isn't a steal for $40.
Pale straw in colour with fine bubbles that fade surprisingly quickly. Pleasant nose of biscuit, yeast, pear and green apple, slightly awkward in the mouth with aggressive acidity and effervescence, simple white fruited flavours over gentle yeasty notes and a light, short finish. Picks up some weight and depth with more air, but quite disappointing.
had enjoyed this in the past, but now that i have more experience with champagne, decided to try it again and see if i still like it. found it to be very pleasant, with very little in terms of fruit, but a taste with a good deal of depth.
Very nice nose with brioche, pie crust, and lemon. Constant, fine beads rising in the glass. Lots of initial citrus and vibrant acidity on the palate. Finished long with a chalk taste. With additional time in the glass, apples, spice, and a bit tropical. Fantastic fruit profile on the palate and a clean, crisp, long finish. Very nice champagne.
I tend to use palate staining often in my notes, but this exemplifies that characteristic. Reminds me of the Puffeneys we had a Casa Perry months back, just sticking to the walls of your mouth and not letting go.
On the nose there is a melange of florals, minerals and chalk, then citrus and orchard fruits - everything rachets up in intensity the longer it sits in the glass.
And in the mouth the pent up orchard and citrus fruit just explodes, on a bed of minerality.
Boy this is a lovely champagne. We opened it as an afterthought so it was a little warmer than ideal and our cooler jacket is not big enough to get round the enormous girth of the bottle. The nose was clean and everything you'd expect of a non-vintage champagne. But it was the taste that beguiled. The two of us sharing it immediately loved its soft mousse, its refreshing but not too acidic taste of apples and pastry coming through with a nice long finish. This has rested in my cellar since 2005. It was always good but it's grown up now and is at its zenith.
A note on Vilmart Champagnes. He makes his "basic" Grand Cellier (which is the cheapest available in the American market) as well as making the Grand Cellier d'Or. The Grand Cellier usuall has a gold label, the Cellier d'Or a black one. Well, whichever you have been drinking this is outstanding Champagne. I would easily choose this over the multi-vintage Krug, and perhaps even over vintage Krung. And it is a 1/4 of the multi-vintages price!
Like a lover caressing you from the tip of your elbow to the top of your shoulder blade this champagne touches in an unusual, intimate, and casually sexual way. It is round and familiar and drifts together in a lazy friendly manner. Sweet honey, slightly roasted hazelnuts and hints of herbs posses the palate. Laurent is not on a quest for low dosage so the middle is rotund. It is not one of the most striking, the most articulate, or the richest Champagnes I have had. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best at its price. For $60 you can have everything Krug can does at a third of the price. But why compare? Life is so short…
Disgorgement code L 06 07. Another fine bottle. This continues to be light but round and deliver plenty of flavor. Very satisfying and more complex than the quick taste I had from my other bottle indicated.
This is EXACTLY what I think Champagne should taste like. Elegant and refined, with racy acid that sweeps up through the bright apple/pear fruit of the mid-palate and then clears the way for a luxurious graphite-laden, mineral finish. With a little air, the nose becomes a wonderfully complex mix of honey, white flower and pain grille. I actually prefer this to the prestige cuvées from Vilmart. It's exceptional. And, so far, has not disappoined. At 10g/l dosage, it's the exception to my current preference for brut nature sparklers. Cork date/disgorged 12/06.
Disgorgement code L 06 07. This was a relatively quick taste, so my notes are meager. Very citrusy on the nose. Light on the palate but extremely flavorful and an extraordinarily long, mineral finish. A very classy bottle with great focus. I wonder how it will develop with a couple of years age.
Disgorged June 2006. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir. Super elegant, one of my favorite NVs. Light on it's feet, this has a nice airy quality to it keeping the fruit fresh tasting, not heavy or doughy. Some nuttiness and a little caramel note really round this out nicely.
Initially somewhat restrained nose of baked bread, green apple and a touch of tropical fruit. The aromas became more intense with air. On the palate lots of fruit and yeast flavors gave the feeling of depth and richness while still remaining crisp and refreshing. Long finish left me with a lingering impression of apple pie. Delicious!
Impromptu Steak Off (My Place, Seattle, WA): Nice vigrant mousse. Clear pale straw color. Lots of citrus and apple on the nose. Toasty and creamy. On the palate, full body and lots of effervescence. The perfect amount of oak lends creamyness and complexity. Long pleasing clean finish.
Dinner with friends (Our house): I didn't think this showed quite as well as the previous bottles but it was still excellent with ripe fruit backed up by subtle toast and nut aromas. Medium bodied and just ever so slightly lacking in the mid-palate. Nicely textured with a creamy, clean finish.
Disgorged 06/06. Very and clean, elegant but not really enough character for me. Like a light blanc de blancs. Didn't gain much over 3 days open. Not much to challenge the senses but somehow it seems that is often what people want from their Champagne. I prefer a richer style that stimulates the senses. This is a nicely made wine but for the tarif there are several options I like much better.
Disgourged in June 2006. Tasty! Quite bubbly. Elegant and light on its feet. Some toast with nutmeg? Yeasty. A perfect alternative when we don't want the boldness of Bollinger. Great champagne. Will buy more.
Disgorged June 2006. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir. Very light in color, with aromas of lemon and honey. Elegant, silky, smooth, caressing Champagne - light to medium body with gorgeous honey, nut and caramel flavors. Caramel and nuts carry over on a long finish. This is a very fluffy champagne, not heavy in any way...the finish is a dead ringer for caramel covered almonds or hazelnuts. I love light and elegant Champagne, this is a class-act.
Had New Years Eve at home with family. Very nice Champagne. Pale yelow color with vigorous bubbles. Bold nose of nutmeg, bread and roasted nuts. Melted away on the palate with a nice, lingering finish.
$65.99 retail, before discount. Complex, fairly expressive nose of citrus, light honey and faint nuts. Terrific freshness. On the palate, gorgeous texture; well-balanced, with flavors of honey, cittrus and apple. Nice focus as well as fat / weight. Creamy, with a faint note of caramel on the finish. Very impressive.
Tasted December 13, 2006 at an offline. Opened and served immediately in a Riedel Vinum Cuvee Prestige glass. Light yellow color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of apples, dough and citrus fruits. Flavors of Bartlett pear, spiced apples and soft brown spices. Light to medium acidity, medium bodied. Drink now.
Very pale cream, energetic mousse. Light nose of fluffy apple. A light rounded wine, fresh on the attack, some distan tropical fruit, light and smooth with light acidity. Very pure but much less concentrated than the 'better' cuvees.
The Vilmart was very light and traditional, with a very pale color (amidst all the tiny bubbles). It had a delicate taste, very subtle, almost creamy. This is a traditional champagne, very classy. Vilmart comes from the Montagne de Reims and was founded in 1872. It was founded by a man named Desire Vilmart. How can someone named Desire not make a good champagne? The domaine is still in the family. I read somewhere that Vilmart is considered "the poor man's Krug." The champagne is aged in new French oak and is comprised of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir. This is tasty and classy. If we used a numerical scale, this would get an extremely high rating. This was for Wine Blogging Wednesday #25. The blog post is at http://www.wine-girl.net/2006/09/wbw_25_toast_th.html.
Terry Theise Champage Tasting (Columbus, OH): Lots of class for its price. A toasty wood note but doesn't get at all heavy like Vilmart sometimes can. Toasted brioche, ripe apple and pear, and hints of wildflower. Well textured with fine bead. Well balanced with firm acidity. ***/5
Bought in April 2000, so plenty of age. This was the best this has been (and we've had more than 2 dozen of these) - really fresh, lively, yeasty, some citrus, fruity yet rich. Not complex, but super balanced fizz
Hart Davis Hart Champagne Tasting (Pops for Champagne, Chicago, IL): Closed nose of wet hay and a little bit of apple. A little bit unpleasant, for some reason. Very full-bodied on the palate. Complex, with fruits, nuts, yeast, and baking spices (nutmeg). Soft, diffuse finish. I've never had anything quite like this. Lots of personality -- very unique, and I liked it a lot.
Dinner at Les Nomades. Purchased to replace the oxidized '83 Rangen VT. Light yellow in color with a very fine and long bead. Fresh flavors of apples and pears with a little yeast and toasty notes. Very enjoyable. 50+12+13+8+8 = 91.