- Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France
"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.