Lilbert are the smallest of the champagne producers we import, making a tiny 27,000 bottles,
all of which come from Grand cru vineyards. Situated in the Chardonnay village of Crémant,
the Lilbert family have been grape growers since 1746, commencing the production of wine under their own label in 1907. It’s a small team, with fifth-generation Bertrand Lilbert at the helm, while his wife splits her time between the children and the winery. The third member of the team, Bertrand’s father, is never far behind. There are then 1.5 people to assist in the vineyards, which cover 3.5ha and are divided into 15 parcels. 80% of the tiny production is non-vintage, with the balance a vintage and a small amount of Perle, a low pressure style.
Champagne writer Peter Liem in his guide sums this producer up well: ‘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.’ The 7 metre-deep cellars date back to 1712 and sit
at 10-12 degrees in temperature. There is no oak used, malolactic for at least part of the wine and fermentation is with a strain of yeast harvested in Crémant. The family riddle the bottles by hand at a rate of 4,000 bottles a day. There are seven or eight disgorgements a year. Each time the wine is tasted, with the dosage matching the wine’s requirements at that stage.