Joy.......Vilmart

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Frank Murray III
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Joy.......Vilmart

#1 Post by Frank Murray III »

The last several months have been hard for many. We all have our own struggles with The 19, the impending election here in the US, the civil unrest.....for me at least, it has been hard at times. But joy can be found, within the friendships we keep, the values we hold dear and in the instance of the wines we love, the joy from drinking a great bottle.

One producer consistently brings me joy, and that is Vilmart. I've visited once in 2018 (and would have gone back a few months ago as planned but The 19 screwed that up), and since that visit we had the good fortune of hosting Laurent Champs, the owner and winemaker for Vilmart, when we did a Zoom with him a few months back here on WB. I also found my way into another Zoom with Laurent last week, as someone in the IG audience who had signed on to hear from him.

His spirit is calming, there is a warmth and kindness that I experience when I listen to him. He seems like a truly good soul and it's my hope I can visit there in 2021 once things calm down.

As important for me are his wines, which are bottled joy. I've been drinking them now for several years, fortunate to be introduced to them by fellow WBer, Steve Nordhoff. The acidity, the balance, the expression in his wines across the range is really to me just stunning. Below you can see a photo of some recent bottles, enjoyed amongst a very small group of friends each time. And soon enough, more will arrive as the boats come in and the pending bottles are in my cellar, ready to join the others.

In these times, when there is such division, frustration, challenge, it's a relief to have wines like Vilmart that can be a catalyst for joy. We all have our sources of joy in the wine world....the Vilmart wines are mine.
20200727_112515.jpg
Last edited by Frank Murray III on July 27th, 2020, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My best wines for 2020:
2014 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut
2012 Minière F & R Champagne Influence Brut
2008 Rhys Skyline PN SCM
2015 Ulysse Collin Champagne Les Pierrières
2014 Laherte Frères Champagne BdB EB Les Grands Crayeres

Kindness matters. Dignity matters. Accountability matters. Respect matters. LEADERSHIP MATTERS!

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#2 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Love those wines. The zoom was fantastic (thanks to you, Todd and Brad for arranging it). We’ve met Laurent a few times in NYC, and his passion is clear.

Might have to crack a Rosé sometime very soon.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#3 Post by Jim Stewart »

Cherish joy whenever and wherever you find it, Frank. Cheers.
Age merely shows what children we remain.
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But I've just noticed that my mind is asleep.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#4 Post by Mike Grammer »

Such a heartfelt and fervent reminder of keeping hope and joy and balancing by rewarding yourself with something like this. Thank you for both the note and the sentiment, Frank. Now my Grand Celliers are calling to me :)
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#5 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

Love the wines. Wish it wasn't so hot out as I have a few bottles I'll be expecting from Lopa soon :)
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#6 Post by AD Northup »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:05 pm Love the wines. Wish it wasn't so hot out as I have a few bottles I'll be expecting from Lopa soon :)
You made me look...50 bottles of Champagne pending in CT [oops.gif]
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#7 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

AD Northup wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:08 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:05 pm Love the wines. Wish it wasn't so hot out as I have a few bottles I'll be expecting from Lopa soon :)
You made me look...50 bottles of Champagne pending in CT [oops.gif]
All maggies, right?
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#8 Post by C. Mc Cart »

Nice post Frank. Realy enjoyed your zoom a while back. I buy what I can, but the wines are somewhat 'dear' in our market. Grand Cellier NV & Rubis are both in the $100-$120/750 range and the vintage wines are a fair bit further up the scale. Adds up when needing to buy in case quantities. There's no close doppelganger to Vilmart that I've found, but thankfully there are many other growers with equal vision of quality & purity.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#9 Post by AD Northup »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:11 pm
AD Northup wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:08 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:05 pm Love the wines. Wish it wasn't so hot out as I have a few bottles I'll be expecting from Lopa soon :)
You made me look...50 bottles of Champagne pending in CT [oops.gif]
All maggies, right?
Of course! What’s the point if it’s only 750
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1994 Edmunds St. John Les Côtes Sauvages
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

C. Mc Cart wrote: July 27th, 2020, 5:42 pm Nice post Frank. Realy enjoyed your zoom a while back. I buy what I can, but the wines are somewhat 'dear' in our market. Grand Cellier NV & Rubis are both in the $100-$120/750 range and the vintage wines are a fair bit further up the scale. Adds up when needing to buy in case quantities. There's no close doppelganger to Vilmart that I've found, but thankfully there are many other growers with equal vision of quality & purity.
Damn. $120 CDN would be about double the best US prices (Envoyer had the Rubis for $50 US a while back).
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#11 Post by C. Mc Cart »

Yeah, we get screwed on a lot. Very few wines do we get less than major US markets.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#12 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Great post Frank! Really, really nice to read.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#13 Post by Jerry Hey »

I really enjoyed the zoom with Laurent a while ago. We visited Vilmart a few years ago and were shown a nice visit and tasting with Laurent. I opened a '17 disgorged Grand Cellier and a recently purchased Cuvee Rubis both of which were excellent. I too hope the Covid 19 ends quickly so we can make a return trip to France.

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#14 Post by Chris Seiber »

They are beautiful wines. As happens in the wine world, the price keeps pushing up against the top of my comfort zone. I don't begrudge them it because they are really that good and I'm sure demand is strong, but they've moved into the "save a small stash for special occasions" world rather than something I can just pop for fun. Of course, that's all a completely personal equation, and everyone else's will be different.

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#15 Post by brigcampbell »

That bottle of Vilmart was in good company. LOL
  • 2004 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru (7/28/2020)
    Blind: This was perfect for an afternoon with friends. There's a solid core of ripe fruit mid palate, no apologies need as there's plenty of grip for the leaner crowd. If I had to bring one sparkler to cover a crowd, this might be it because there's something for everyone.
  • 2009 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut - France, Champagne (7/28/2020)
    What is it about the mousse with Cristal, it's incredible. The mouthfeel of this wine is so distinctive. Light and fluffy. I love the lemon notes. If you're like me, this is not a daily drinker, but if you have the chance or muster up the coin, you will not be disappointed.
  • 2014 Bérêche et Fils Champagne Campania Remensis - France, Champagne (7/28/2020)
    Light rose colored, almost washed out. Great wine. Very good balance for rose, somethings they get too fruity, and nice acid wrapped around stone fruit and citrus with a noticeable strawberry underneath.
  • 2014 Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Champagne Premier Cru Gastronome Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru (7/28/2020)
    Incredible QPR as I think I grabbed this for $45. It's worth twice that and I see that it doesn't score that well with the CT fans. That's okay. Nose has a hint of raw dough, almost like play-dough. Yellow and green apples trade off on the attack but the citrus takes over through the finish. Problem need to reload here.
  • 2017 Model Farm Syrah Petaluma Gap - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/28/2020)
    A very graceful yet powerful syrah. The attack is very pinot-like with red berry flavors but the strong foundation of tar and lots of fine grit tannins. Great with BBQ. Super wine.
  • 2018 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Unoaked - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/28/2020)
    Has the body of a larger oaked wine but without the resin. Enjoyable in it's simplicity and freshness.
  • NV Jacques Selosse V.O. Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (7/28/2020)
    My first Selosse, excited as this is the grandfather of the revolution. I like this wine, in a geeky way, but there were others that I preferred. I'm thankful for the chance to taste it.
Posted from CellarTracker

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#16 Post by Frank Murray III »

Brig, I think you also drank the other bottle with me, too. Joy amongst friends. [highfive.gif]
My best wines for 2020:
2014 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut
2012 Minière F & R Champagne Influence Brut
2008 Rhys Skyline PN SCM
2015 Ulysse Collin Champagne Les Pierrières
2014 Laherte Frères Champagne BdB EB Les Grands Crayeres

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#17 Post by T. Melloni »

brigcampbell wrote: July 28th, 2020, 11:04 am That bottle of Vilmart was in good company. LOL
  • 2004 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru (7/28/2020)
    Blind: This was perfect for an afternoon with friends. There's a solid core of ripe fruit mid palate, no apologies need as there's plenty of grip for the leaner crowd. If I had to bring one sparkler to cover a crowd, this might be it because there's something for everyone.
  • 2009 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut - France, Champagne (7/28/2020)
    What is it about the mousse with Cristal, it's incredible. The mouthfeel of this wine is so distinctive. Light and fluffy. I love the lemon notes. If you're like me, this is not a daily drinker, but if you have the chance or muster up the coin, you will not be disappointed.
  • 2014 Bérêche et Fils Champagne Campania Remensis - France, Champagne (7/28/2020)
    Light rose colored, almost washed out. Great wine. Very good balance for rose, somethings they get too fruity, and nice acid wrapped around stone fruit and citrus with a noticeable strawberry underneath.
  • 2014 Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Champagne Premier Cru Gastronome Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru (7/28/2020)
    Incredible QPR as I think I grabbed this for $45. It's worth twice that and I see that it doesn't score that well with the CT fans. That's okay. Nose has a hint of raw dough, almost like play-dough. Yellow and green apples trade off on the attack but the citrus takes over through the finish. Problem need to reload here.
  • 2017 Model Farm Syrah Petaluma Gap - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/28/2020)
    A very graceful yet powerful syrah. The attack is very pinot-like with red berry flavors but the strong foundation of tar and lots of fine grit tannins. Great with BBQ. Super wine.
  • 2018 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Unoaked - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/28/2020)
    Has the body of a larger oaked wine but without the resin. Enjoyable in it's simplicity and freshness.
  • NV Jacques Selosse V.O. Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (7/28/2020)
    My first Selosse, excited as this is the grandfather of the revolution. I like this wine, in a geeky way, but there were others that I preferred. I'm thankful for the chance to taste it.
Posted from CellarTracker
Brig - Your tasting notes are all dated for July 28, 2020 - TODAY! and your time of that post is 2:04 PM Eastern/11:04 Pacific.
Good Morning. Well done, sir!
Talk about JOY!
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#18 Post by Jan Janas »

It's good to find your happy place, Frank, and glad you have found your haven in Vilmart!

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#19 Post by Tran Bronstein »

You have to try their stunning Ratafia as well.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#20 Post by AD Northup »

Tran Bronstein wrote: July 28th, 2020, 5:04 pm You have to try their stunning Ratafia as well.
I’ve had a wine-searcher alert for this for a US store since the zoom with no luck. Anyone ever seen it for sale in the US?
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#21 Post by Mark Lewis »

hitsfan
AD Northup wrote: July 28th, 2020, 5:05 pm
Tran Bronstein wrote: July 28th, 2020, 5:04 pm You have to try their stunning Ratafia as well.
I’ve had a wine-searcher alert for this for a US store since the zoom with no luck. Anyone ever seen it for sale in the US?
I picked up a bottle from Benchmark a year ago, so worth keeping an eye out there.

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#22 Post by Jerry Hey »

Tran Bronstein wrote: July 28th, 2020, 5:04 pm You have to try their stunning Ratafia as well.
+1

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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#23 Post by David Kingsbury »

Love Vilmart! Their Grand Reserve is yummy but the GrandCellier is on another level for NV Champagne. Have a few of Vintage Couer wines but haven’t had one recently. And Tran is right, their Ratafia is really excellent,, would buy on sight if I could find it here in the US.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#24 Post by Brad Baker »

Just don't drink their Ratafia after going through the Vins Clairs. I had been tasting Vins Clairs all day (and all week) and finished my day and week up by doing the same at Vilmart. As I went to leave, some other visitors were tasting the Ratafia and raving about it. They told me I needed to taste it. I explained I was familiar with it and enjoyed it, but didn't want to intrude on their visit and enjoyment. They insisted again and then so did Laurent Champs. I knew this was dangerous, but I didn't want things to get awkward so I accepted a glass to taste. Sheer pain followed. As I feared, after taking a small taste and then spitting it out, my teeth ached like they never had; I probably should have just thrown it down my throat; live and learn. After all the acid, the sweetness mixed with more acidity was too much for my teeth to take. I wanted to scream in agony, but held it in. Vilmart's Ratafia is great stuff, just not after Vins Clairs.
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Re: Joy.......Vilmart

#25 Post by Jay Miller »

I certainly agree that Vilmart produces some of the more joyful Champagnes out there, and have for many years. Great notes.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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