Scribbling about wine: Vilmart & Cie, The Cœur de Cuvée 2001

The Cœur de Cuvée is the premium champagne from Vilmart. Vilmart produces their finest bubbles from the 11 hectares Premier Cru in Rilly-la-Montagne and some vines in the neighboring Villers-Allerand. Their better collection – the Grand Cellier, Grand Cellier d’Or, Cuvee Creation and Coeur de Cuvee – are chardonnay dominant. So it is not surprising that about 60% of their planted grapes are of the Chardonnay variety. Since the 1980s, the champagne house had been a devotee of biodynamic planting.

Vilmart & Cie, The Cœur de Cuvée 2001

Rilly-la-Montagne, situated at the south of Reims, has a history of being one of the oldest champagne producing villages. But going back in time, the village also had a brush with World War history – bomb storage depots used to sit where the vines are today. But it has since moved on from its gloomy past, becoming a home to Premier Cru champagnes.

The Cœur de Cuvée – Vilmart’s flagship champagne is made with the best nectar from the 50 years old vines in Blanches Voies. Only the finest 30% from the first press was used and fermented, then aged in 1-3 year old barriques. The vinification process shares some similarity with the Krug champagne – it is fermented and aged in oak – giving the colour hints of gold. The oak is well integrated with the fruitiness and chalky minerality. The champagne displayed excellent purity and shone out as an underwhelming vintage. The Chardonnay stood out from the glass together with some florals, apples, lime and citrus.

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