"Lilbert makes classic Côte des Blancs champagnes of great purity, finesse and expression. The only problem with these 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, Champagneguide.net
Lilbert owns 3.5 hectare of vines- all Grand Cru, and all Chardonnay, with an average vine age of 45 years- in the Côte des Blancs. 60% of their vines are in Cramant, 30% in Chouilly and 10% in Oiry. These are three of the six Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs.
It is rare that any one house owns exclusively Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs; Bertrand calls himself "very lucky" to be able to make wines from such prestigious vineyards. All of the parcels are vinified separately until two weeks before bottling. The NV represents 80% of the production and is aged in the cellar for two years. Dosage is normally around 7g/L, since Bertrand is going for acidity in his wines and not ripeness. (He does not perform batonnage because it makes the wines too heavy.) The winery is tiny and the latest investment is a 4,000kg pneumatic press and a disgorgement machine. Each bottle is still riddled by hand. The end result is a true connoisseurs champagne.
"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. "
View From the Cellar
"A beautifully layered if extremely subtle and restrained nose speaks softly of yeast, citrus and green apple scents where there is a whisper of pear in the background. The mouth feel of the attractively precise flavors is equally cool and restrained and this impression is enhanced by the moderately firm but fine mousse, all wrapped in a dry but not really austere finale. The 2016 disgorgement is slightly drier than that of the 2015 version (that review is available in the Burghound database) and I prefer this one if only slightly. I would make the same observation here that I made with the prior cuvée which is that I would like to see a bit more complexity, particularly on the finish but I certainly can't fault the elegant and refined delivery."