Disgorged in June 2018, the 2014 Brut Premier Cru Grand Cellier d'Or is an attractive rendition of this wine, which derives from south-facing lieu-dit Les Blanches Voies. "Aromatic, with floral and ripe berry and cherry fruit notes, this harmonious Champagne shows a zesty underpinning and a creamy mousse. Fresh and mouthwatering throughout, showing hints of chopped almond, Meyer lemon peel and pastry dough. Offers a lingering finish loaded with fragrant spice and graphite accents.” This will unwind beautifully with a bit of bottle age. 93+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
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. Vilmart & Cie. traces its history back to 1890, when it was founded by Désiré Vilmart, and from the beginning, Vilmart & Cie. has always been a récoltant-manipulant, making champagne exclusively from estate-owned vines. Since 1989 the estate has been in the hands of Laurent Champs, the fifth generation of the family to take the helm of the house. Vilmart's Laurent Champs farms 11 hectares of vines and enjoys a rare advantage in this highly morcellated region: those 11 hectares are divided into merely 12 plots. All are close to the winery in Rilly-la-Montagne and oriented south or southeast, and all their soils are rich in chalk. A partisan of barrel fermentation and élevage—working exclusively with Meursault's tonnellerie Damy since 1992—Vilmart is a source of powerful, vinous wines that are invariably polished and racy. Recent releases have demonstrated an increasingly adept mastery of oak, its influence remaining firmly in the background, and they're developing more slowly. "This is one of Champagne's top estates, and the wines reviewed here come warmly recommended." -Robert Parker.