Champagne Lanson is the ninth largest house in Champagne, and certainly one of the richest in terms of history. Founded in 1760 by Francois Delamotte, the house became “Lanson” after the appointment of close family friend Jean-Baptiste Lanson to the helm of the company in the early 1800’s.
Second-generation owner Nicolas-Louis Delamotte, who was a Knight of the Order of Malta, introduced the Maltese cross logo of the brand.
In the early 1990’s, Lanson was purchased by Moet and Chandon. At that time, Lanson had a touch more than 200 hectares of vineyards. Just six months later, the house was on-sold by it’s new owners with only 2 hectares to its books. Such a brutal loss would kill most houses, but Lanson has since managed to claw back and expand its network of growers to become a key part of one of the largest companies currently in champagne; Lanson-BCC, which is second only to LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet, Hennessy).
Lanson has a special position in Australia in that its range is parallel imported – with many of its more well known offerings; Black Label Brut, Rosé, Gold label vintage and Extra Age imported by Pinnacle drinks, and its other more specialised wines such as it biodynamic offering coming in via a specialist importer.
In this instance, the 2005 Vintage is being reviewed – the first sub $100 vintage to be reviewed her on C-T.
At $75 it is priced fairly conservatively – allowing it to mix in with non-vintage offerings from Bollinger, Pol roger and Louis Roederer to name a few.
In this instance, the bottle is labelled with a 2014 disgorgement – indicating potentially 9 years of aging! That should mean a well developed strength of flavour.
The grand question is – will it demonstrate the superiority of a years best grapes?
From: Reims, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$75 a bottle from Dan Murphy’s
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier: (51/49/0)
Aging: At least 5 years
Disgorged: December 2014 (2005 Base Vintage)
Sipped: December 2017
In The Glass:
Look: A mid golden colour with good translucence. Bubbles are medium sized with strong fizz.
Smell: Almost odourless – a very faint nose of yeast, and some citrus and stone fruit.
Taste: Gives a very dry mouth on the first sip. The taste here is one of tart notes – Grapefruit and hint of toffee and sour green apple that stays around for a while – but the flavour has no remarkable additional fruit notes and no honeyed sweetness to enjoy.
It’s just… dry.
Slight vinegar on the end of a sip that plants in the middle of the tongue – although the acid isn’t hard – its balanced out.
But this wine is dry and a bit characterless. Which is odd because I this champagne at a tasting in August and I remember it having more body (I had LOTS of champagnes that night so my memory may be skewed).
I feel as though it urgently needs briney foods to make it palatable – but that defeats the purpose of a vintage – and this is lacklustre.
I poured four glasses and only mine was finished – albeit cos I’m stubborn.
I am direly hoping it was a bad bottle but the odds of that these days with a fresh 2014 disgorgement – and drinking it the same day it was bought I’m not confident.
This is so odd – because the Black label I had is one of my faves!!!
Party Potential: Priced reasonably to compete with some premium NV’s. But given the tasting it’s hard to recommend at this time.
As a Gift: Something about gold label’s lack of pizzazz makes it a kind of generic gift offering I would avoid due to quality.
At Home: Would typically make a very opulent Friday night splitter with your significant other – but is a bit pricey for that.
Score & Verdict:
I guess it’s like finding someone who has spent so much time in university, and finding out they are really dumb. All academic and no actual character or street smarts.
At $75 per bottle I think its avoidable for value vs flavour.
Hoping to retest in a few months and double check.
How did I drink it?
I drank it on a Saturday get-together.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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