Subtlety and Grace: 2008 Lilbert-Fils Cramant Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

Posted by Joe Salamone

Subtlety and Grace
2008 Lilbert-Fils Cramant
Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

"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

Finding Lilbert's 2008 has been especially difficult. I've been looking for months and have only been able to turn up this small parcel that I'm sneaking in on a Sunday.

I have a huge soft spot and an enormous amount of admiration for the Champagnes that Lilbert turns out. They produce some of the greatest expressions of the Côte des Blancs.

Lilbert's tiny production partially explains why they aren't better known. The estate is only 3.5 ha. There's simply not very much to go around. The quiet style also plays a role: Lilbert's are classic, subtle and graceful Champagnes. There's nothing showy or loud about them.

Lilbert's Champagnes capture Côte des Blancs' chalky, kinetic energy with a striking precision, whispering nuance and captivating complexity. They thrive on finesse and an intricately complicated presentation of saline minerality, chalk, and always complex and precise length.

Their vintage Blanc de Blancs represents the pinnacle of the range. It's mainly sourced from Lilbert's oldest vines from two parcels, Les Buissons and Moyens, in Cramant. Cramant is considered to be one of the absolute best villages in Champagne. In the Côte des Blancs, the only competition is Mesnil.

As you can imagine, the 2008 is absolutely stunning. With 2002, 2008 is the best vintage of the decade. Where 2002 is defined by a high level of ripeness and muscle, 2008 is about purity, harmony and an energetic structure. Lilbert just killed it in 2008. I expect it to age beautifully, slowly filling out and gaining a mysterious depth of mineral.

For me, Lilbert is one of Champagne's under-the-radar producers. The 2008 without a doubt stands out as one of their best wines in a very long time. Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best. I have no doubt that this will disappear quickly.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits