Lillet Blanc is produced by La Maison Frères Lillet. It’s established by Lillet brothers at 1872 on Bordeaux parish. Kina Lillet was established 15 years later. It was invented due to Louis Pasteur experiments, when he found that quinine has a strong effect of malaria prevention. Lillet quinine wine was a special product on it’s own age, when it was white when all other made red wine based blends. At 1980 the company abandon the Kina prefix and named it simply Lillet. Also sugar content was reduced to give more room for aromas.
The base of Lillet Blanc is white wine (85%) where is added fruit liqueur, mostly done by citrus fruits. After blending it’s matured 6-8 months on oak barrels. Lillet is the most popular aperitif drink in the USA. There are also two different variations of it, Lillet Rouge and Lillet Rose, but the sales of them are much lower. 75cl bottle bought for 14€ at Estonia.
The fruitiness comes forward right away on aroma and taste. There are also some herbs on the taste. Quinine is however quite light, I can barely notice it. Aftertaste is quite sweet and slightly bitter. Sweetness is nicely balanced, but what’s more the bottle stays in the fridge, the sweeter it starts to taste. Correspondingly, the herb notes and bitterness vanish so it’s recommended to drink empty for two weeks. Taste is quite original and needs some time to get used to.