This family-owned estate has a rich history dating back to the late 18th century, and this small, artisanal producer is known for crafting exceptional Blanc de Blancs Champagnes, where Chardonnay grapes thrive in the chalky soils of their vineyards. Today, Bertrand Lilbert is one of the rising stars of Côte des Blancs, manging the small parcel of Grand Cru vineyards across Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry.
Whilst these three Grand Cru villages are separated by only a few kilometres, the variations in terroir add different qualities to the resulting wines.
In the terroir of Cramant, the topsoil exhibits a greater clay content overlying Campanian chalk. This unique combination of high-quality clay and chalk imparts a distinct texture, density, and finesse to the resulting wine.
Chouilly, situated between Cramant and Oiry, shares some similarities with Cramant in its expression. However, with its southern exposure leads to enhanced grape maturity. As a result, wines from Chouilly tend to possess bolder flavours, displaying a pronounced maturity. They are often characterized as having a relatively "rich" style, featuring buttery notes and hints of tropical fruit. They typically exhibit a mineral character that is somewhat less intense compared to their Grand Cru neighbours.
In Oiry, the terroir comprises a blend of topsoil ranging from silty to silty-clay and a substrate of hard chalk. This limestone component contributes to the wines' tautness, vibrant citrus expressions, and an invigorating quality.
One of the standout features of Champagne Lilbert is their dedication to small-scale, artisanal production. This allows them to maintain a meticulous level of control over the quality of their grapes and wines. The result is a portfolio of Champagnes that are celebrated for their finesse, elegance, and purity of flavour.
The flagship cuvée, the "Perle," is a testament to their craftsmanship. It showcases the characteristically delicate Chardonnay flavours, with notes of citrus, green apple, and minerality, all wrapped in a fine, persistent mousse. This Special Cuvée was formerly called “Crémant de Cramant.” At the time it designated a very particular type of Champagne: a less sparkling, because it has an internal pressure of 3.5 to 4 Bar instead of the usual 6 Bar.
This original production method produces an elegant wine with light foam and discreet effervescence.
Faithful to tradition, they still produce this Special Cuvée. Only its name has changed: Perle.
It comes from a selection of grapes from old vines (the oldest was planted in 1930), and ages in the cellar for 4 or 5 years, resulting in a full and generous mouthfeel while remaining fresh, with toasty notes of brioche.
In a world where Champagne production can sometimes prioritize quantity over quality, Champagne Lilbert remains a beacon of tradition. The Family's unwavering commitment to quality and tradition has firmly established them as a gem in the world of Champagne, and their wines continue to be cherished by connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.