The Lilbert NV Blanc de Blancs is intense, austere and edgy. The house style emphasizes fine mousse and fragrant aromas of lime, yellow orchard fruits, and hay. A rarity for NV expressions, this wine is made entirely from the first (and finest) pressing; Bertrand's second press juice for all three cuvées is sold to a large house which will not be named. With the warmer years, Bertrand Lilbert has began to lower his dosages from the usual 6-7 grams to less than 5 grams.
The only problem with these [Lilbert’s] wines is finding them, as the tiny production is eagerly snapped up upon release by a near-cult following of clientele around the world.
— Peter Liem, Champagne Guide 2014
For over a century, the Lilbert family has cultivated vines in the hilltop village of Cramant (not to be confused with Crémant, the term for Méthode Champenoise wine produced elsewhere in France), located at the heart of the champagne’s Côtes des Blancs subregion, with "blancs" referring to both to the white grape (Chardonnay) that reaches its apotheosis here and the region’s pristine, powdery, white Cretaceous chalk soils. In fact, the name Cramant is believed to derive from "Mont de Craie" or “mountain of chalk”. Blanc de Blancs from Côtes des Blanc display racy acidity, chalky minerality and elegance.
Bertrand Lilbert and his father Georges make only grand cru blanc de blancs from 100% Chardonnay. Their annual production averages 2,300 cases (in comparison, Moët & Chandon pumps out 25 million cases each year) and the Lilberts only make wine from their own vineyards. In fact, Betrand Lilbert is so hands on that he personally riddles each individual champagne bottle (all 4,000 of them!) by hand, each morning (a task which he’s gotten down to a mere 30 minutes).
"Finely knit and mineral-driven, this sleek version offers abundant smoke and chalk accents to the pear tart, chopped hazelnut, lemon curd and spring blossom notes. Shows focus and length in an elegant package, with a lasting, creamy finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,650 cases made."
"The newest release of Lilbert-Fils Blanc de Blancs “Grand Cru” non-vintage Brut, was disgorged in June of 2016 and is composed of fifty percent base year 2013 and fifty percent reserve wines from the previous harvest. This bottling is produced from fruit from the grand cru villages of Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry and was finished with a dosage of seven grams per liter. The bouquet is pure and nascently complex, delivering scents of pear, delicious apple, pastry cream, chalky minerality and white flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very well-balanced, with a nicely integrated girdle of acidity, a lovely core of fruit, fine, pinpoint bubbles and good length and grip on the still youthful, but inviting finish. I might actually opt for drinking this bottling over the near-term and let the earlier disgorgement rest in the cellar, as this is a bit more open out of the blocks. Good juice. 2017-2035. "
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