Cult Champagne Rarity, Disgorged in 99: Vilmart Grand Cellier NV (99 disgorgement)

Posted by Ian McFadden

Cult Champagne Rarity:
NV, 13 Years Later
Grand Cellier NV (99 Disgorgement)

"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." -Peter Liem, ChampagneGuide

As far as cult wineries go, Vilmart may keep a low profile, but people who know the wines become fanatical about them.

They range from wine geeks to blue chip collectors (and just about everyone in between). Our love of the estate has been well chronicled in emails.

Today, we present a great rarity from Vilmart - their non-vintage Grand Cellier d'Or that was disgorged in 1999.

Yes, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but non-vintage Champagnes do age. We know many Champagne geeks that practically insist that their NV Champagnes spend a good deal of time in their cellars before they dig into them. Aging Krug MV has seemed compulsory for many savvy collectors for years.

Grand Cellier d'Or is based on 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir from three vintages. In this case, the highly complementary blend of vintages is 95, 96 and 97.

Champagne is simply one of the most ageworthy wines around - Champagne's high acids and ultra-refined harmony see to its beautiful evolution in the cellar. With age, Champagne becomes a heartbreaking tapestry of toasted nuts, dried fruits, caramel and burnt orange peel.

Champagnes that seem feisty and snappy in their youth grow into deeply complex, mysteriously haunting wines. Non-vintage Champagnes are no exception. There are stories of NV Champagnes twenty years after disgorgement that are still singing.

Vilmart's style is one that lends itself incredibly well to aging. Their Champagnes are unapologetically vinous. They are fermented and aged in barrels, malolactic fermentation is blocked. What results is something that's structured and zippy and needs some time to come to together, but when it does - watch out.

They are without a doubt some of the longest lived grower Champagnes. The Grand Cellier on offer today beautifully shows the complexity and harmony that mature Vilmart achieves.

These are rare bottles. Vilmart has many fans and they are enthusiastic. Our parcel is modest. We advise you to respond as soon as possible with your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits