Singapore’s grower champagne movement continues apace with the introduction of artisanal producer Champagne Vilmart & Cie here.

If you enjoy a good glass of Champagne, you may have noticed the topic of grower champagne popping up in conversations. Grower champagne – typically referring to champagne that’s produced and bottled by the same people who grew the grapes for it – have been getting popular among sommeliers and drinkers over the years, with the number of grower champagne labels increasingly seen on the wine lists of cutting-edge wine bars and restaurants across town.

One of the most recent grower champagnes to arrive in Singapore hoping to capitalise on this trend is Rilly-la-Montagne-based Champagne Vilmart & Cie. Founded in 1890 by Désiré Vilmart, Champagne Vilmart has been growing grapes and making wine even throughout both world wars. Today this family maison continues in the hands of fifth-generation Laurent Champs, who along with his daughter Morgane looks to champion Vilmart’s unique perspective on champagne from the foothills of Montagne de Reims.

The Champagne crafts wines from grapes grown in its 11-hectare estate, planted exclusively to Premier Cru (60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir). As expected from a champagne producer based out of Montagne de Reims – the region between the Marne and the city of Reims – Champagne Vilmart focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. While other producers may prefer to build more fruit-forward wines, Vilmart takes a different tack. The Champagne region has a unique soil structure based on limestone subsoil that’s rich in chalk, and it’s here that Vilmart hones in on, creating wines that exemplify the steeliness and minerality aspects that come out of Montagne de Reims.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Laurent Champs

Another distinctive Vilmart style is the lack of malolactic fermentation, instead leaning on the vinification and aging of all cuvées in wood to help round out its wines. After ten months of vinification in wooden barrels, the wine is bottled and left to age in the estate’s chalk cellars – three to four years for non-vintage champagnes, and five to eight years for vintages.

“This preserves freshness, tautness and subtlety, as well as the pronounced identity of the aromas,” Laurent Champs had shared.

How good are their champagnes? Champagne authority Tom Stevenson lauded Vilmart as “best grower Champagne” at one point, while Antonio Galloni of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave it top marks as well. Today the Champagne Vilmart can be found in some of the best restaurants and bars in the world; in Asia, the Champagnes are proudly served in Michelin-starred establishments such as Écriture and Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier 1er Cru

Vilmart champagnes currently available in Singapore:

  • Vilmart & Cie Grand Reserve
  • Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier
  • Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvées
  • Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or
  • Vilmart & Cie Blanc de Blancs
  • Vilmart & Cie Emotion
  • Vilmart & Cie Cuvee Rubis

“When we first tasted the Champagnes, it was a true discovery for us. We are excited and privileged to share the exquisite style and exceptional quality of Champagne Vilmart & Cie in Singapore,” said Alex Yong, Managing Director of Malt & Wine Asia, exclusive distributor of Champagne Vilmart in Singapore.

Champagne Vilmart & Cie is now available via Malt & Wine Asia Singapore. Recommended retail prices are Grand Reserve (S$78), Grand Cellier (S$93), Rubis (S$102), Grand Cellier d’Or 2015 (S$110), Emotion 2012 (S$178), Coeur de Cuvee 2012 (S$168) and Blanc de Blancs 2011 (S$308).

For the month of December 2021, Champagne Vilmart & Cie is served by the glass at La Terre, Maetomo, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Kakure.

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