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 Green Label biodynamic offering coming in via a specialist importer.
In this instance, we are trying something from the boutique side of Lanson. Boutique in as much that it doesn’t even get a mention on their website!
This wine is made from biodynamic vineyards acquired from Champagne LeClerc Briant, which came to market after the passing of that house’s owner. Lanson acquired 13 hectares, of which 8 are used for Green Label.
This is the first run of Green Label, with around 60,000 bottles planned annually, and a view to eventually make it a vintage champagne.
Green label uses a 50% pinot noir base, with 30% chardonnay and 20% pinot meunier completing the assemblage before 9 g/l sugar is added and the wine is cellared to ferment for 3 years.
With such a boutique pedigree, will it produce a significant differentiation from the house’s usual fare?
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier: (50/20/30) with 9 g/l dosage
Aging: 3 Years
Sipped: November 2018
In The Glass:
Look: A mid golden hue, with a mid strength bubble stream.
Smell: A good nose of honey, which is sweet, caramelised. A slight wet dough fragrance. Zesty fruit. A small note of vanilla.
Taste: Comes to the party with a toasted honeyed intro, which gives way to a strong tart drive with flavours of grapefruit and a hint of vanilla. The lack of intense carbon dioxide fizzing leads it to have a bit of a mid-strength flavour delivery instead of a light one. Delicious and tangy.
Balanced very, very well – not acidic or bitter, just enjoyable right the way through.
A bit of extra fizz may have helped, but really this was a nice and easy drinker that just was enjoyed by everyone.
Party Potential: Very boutique and too expensive to put out in volume. I’d recommend it for quieter gatherings.
As a Gift: Something to give people who are fans of organic agriculture practices.
At Home: Would be an opulent splash-out just for drinkings sake. Save it for having a few good friends over.
Score & Verdict:
At $90 per bottle I think its decent value for the money. It’s specialised…
How did I drink it?
I drank it on a Friday night to celebrate a coastal long weekend.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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