Champagne Vilmart & Cie, “Emotion” Brut Rosé
Champagne Vilmart & Cie, “Emotion” Brut Rosé

Champagne Vilmart & Cie, “Emotion” Brut Rosé

Champagne, France 2013 (750mL)
Regular price$200.00
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Champagne Vilmart & Cie, “Emotion” Brut Rosé

There isn’t enough time in the evening to acknowledge all of the titans in the robust pantheon of Vintage Rosé, but one thing is for certain: Champagne Vilmart & Cie exists in the uppermost echelon. Still, only a few cognoscenti have savored, let alone witnessed, a bottle of “Emotion” because tonight’s immaculate 2013 represents their sophomore release.

Led by Premier Cru Pinot Noir, this rarefied, nearly-decade-old saignée had me rattling off all sorts of descriptors as I paired it alongside a Spanish-influenced meal: Stimulating. Rip-roaring. Vinous. Evocative. Intoxicating. Powerful. Powerful. Powerful. Emotional experiences just like mine are what led author Peter Liem to label Vilmart “one of the finest Champagne producers of any type in the region,” and if that were to ever be questioned, tonight’s bottle would be the go-to counterargument. With old-vine Premier Cru raw material, patient vinification in oak, and 60 months of lees aging, this masterful Vintage Rosé illustrates why Vilmart is among Champagne’s most sought-after and fervently praised producers. Enjoy up to three bottles sparingly, there isn’t much to go around. 

Pro Tip: If you purchased the inaugural 2012 release last year and you’ve yet to pull the cork, keep on cellaring it and enjoy tonight’s mesmerizing, more-accessible 2013 in the meantime!  

Founded in 1890 and still managed by the same family, Vilmart is a rare heritage brand with an impeccable lineup of wines characterized by spectacular energy, mind-bending poise, and powerful vinosity. They are, quite simply, High-IQ, Burgundy-esque Champagnes with a singular voice. The 131-year-old Vilmart estate is based in Rilly-la-Montagne, a Premier Cru-classified village in the Montagne de Reims subzone of Champagne. As many of you know, the Montagne de Reims is dominated by Pinot Noir plantings, but Vilmart’s 11 hectares of vineyards actually contain more Chardonnay (about 60%) than ‘black’ grapes. Since 1989, the property has been in the hands of the dynamic Laurent Champs, a fifth-generation proprietor and careful steward of his treasured holdings. Although not ‘certified’ organic, Champs is a member of an organization called Ampelos, which promotes organic viticulture. Since taking over, not a drop of chemical fertilizers or herbicides has touched his vineyards.
Vilmart’s “Emotion” cuvée is now enjoying its sophomore release. A reimagined version of their classic “Grand Cellier Rubis” bottling, this comes entirely from the cool, beautifully consistent 2013 vintage and is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 60-year-old vines in the Premier Cru village of Rilly-la-Montagne. In the cellar, grapes were pressed separately into 228-liter Burgundy barrels where an élevage (without malo) occurred over a 10-month period. A rarity in the region, long barrel aging is one of the identifying characteristics of Vilmart’s Champagnes—this lends the finished wines an added dimension that invites comparisons to Krug. Today’s 2013 was transferred into bottle in late 2014, where it spent 60 months aging on its fine lees before being disgorged with an eight-gram dosage. This parcel has now spent an additional two years developing in bottle.

Those two extra years of post-disgorgement have worked wonders on this cuvée. I suggest pouring Vilmart’s 2013 “Emotion” Brut Rosé into an all-purpose or Burgundy stem (I prefer the latter) and allowing the mousse to dissipate before sticking your nose in. After a gentle swirl, intoxicating aromas of blood orange zest, pomegranate, redcurrant, cherry blossoms, red plum, wild strawberry, tangerine, crushed chalk, wet stones, and raspberry coulis are coaxed out of the wine. In champagne terms, this is most certainly a full-bodied cuvée, as it delivers rich and beautifully vinous textures alongside a pulsing backbone of minerals and savory herbs. In other words, put a Grand Cru Burgundy through secondary fermentation and the results would be eerily similar. Enjoy!

Champagne Vilmart & Cie, “Emotion” Brut Rosé




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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