Champagne Lanson’s Love Tour lands in Malibu

An opportunity to taste Lanson Champagne was the excuse I needed to get out of the house and take a drive up the coast for the afternoon. At Champagne Lanson, “it’s all about love”. A family-owned business celebrating 260 years, they are dedicated to quality, transparency, and elegance. I was so happy to share in the love of Champagne Lanson which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share here.

For the past six months and counting, I have diligently stayed home, limiting my time out of my home for groceries, seeing my family and a few socially distanced gatherings with friends.

But when I was invited to drive up the coast to Malibu for a socially distanced outdoor tasting in front of an elegant mobile lounge with Champagne Lanson who has been on the “It’s All About Love” Tour, I eagerly accepted! Sitting outdoors looking at a beautiful view while sipping delicious Champagne, I understood Champagne Lanson’s tag line “it’s all about the love”.

The skies were a light gray from the smoke from the horrendous fires but nonetheless, I needed to get out of my house. I drove up the coast to Malibu, clearing my head along the drive, and pulled up to the RV Campground where the elegant mobile lounge of Champagne Lanson was parked. I was greeted by Champagne Lanson’s North American Manager Thibault Marronnier and Western Regional Manager Eric Wooliever.

Champagne Lanson was established in 1760 and recently celebrated their 260th year. Champagne Lanson produces elegant wines that are crisp and fresh. Sourcing grapes from all of the Grand Crus and almost all of the Premiers Crus villages, Lanson works with more than 100 different vineyards. They also own 57 hectares of vines, 16 of which are farmed using organic and biodynamic viticultural practices. This is significant because only one percent of the vineyards in Champagne are certified organic.

Champagne Lanson pays attention to the selection of the vineyards. The majority of their blends contain 50 percent wine produced from Grands Crus and Premiers Crus grapes. The grapes are vinified primarily without malolactic fermentation.

Lanson has reserve wines made from Grands and Premiers Crus grapes of 15 -20 years. And all of the wines are aged longer: they have an extended length of maturation on the lees and rest a minimum of six months after disgorging to ensure the wines develop into their fullest expression. All of these choices result in wines with aromatic richness and beautiful freshness.

In honor of their 260th anniversary, Champagne Lanson has released a new label that is clean, modern and transparent. The transparency applies to the back label of each bottle which includes the grape variety percentages, the percentage of Grands and Premiers Cru vineyards, the year of the harvest base, the percentage of reserve wines, the aging, the dosage, and the disgorgement date.

The new label also clearly shows two significant markers. The Royal Warrant is a prestigious mark of recognition granted by the British monarch to official purveyors to the Royal Court in England. Maison Lanson was awarded the Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria on 4 December 1900 and it has been renewed without interruption by every successive monarch since Queen Victoria.  The Maltese Cross is the adopted House crest in 1798 as the Lanson’s founder’s son was a member of Malta’s Order of the Knights Hospitaller, the world’s oldest charity, established in 1048.

I had the pleasure to enjoy three wines from Lanson’s Core Range which express the House’s signature style, as well as two wines from their Rare and Exception Range. I was so happy to share in the love of Champagne Lanson.

Champagne Lanson Le Black Label Brut

First produced in 1937, Le Black is Lanson’s most iconic Champagne. A blend of 50 percent Pinot Noir, 35 percent Chardonnay and 15 percent Pinot Meunier, the base of this non-vintage wine is 2015. The wine was aged four years and has 35 percent reserve wines which add layers of complexity. A brilliant straw yellow color, the wine has citrus, stone fruit and apple notes. On the palate, the wine is crisp and fresh.

Champagne Lanson Le Green Label

A blend of 50 percent Pinot Noir, 20 percent Chardonnay and 30 percent Pinot Meunier, Le Green Label is sourced from the organic and biodynamic certified 16-hectare Malmasion estate that is located in the Cru villages of Verneuil and Vandieres. The base of this wine is from 2015 and it was aged for four years with a dosage of six grams per liter. A golden color, the wine has aromas of green apple, pear, and almond and mineral notes. On the palate, the wine is very focused with crisp acidity and a long mineral finish.

Champagne Lanson Le Rosé

A blend of 53 percent Pinot Noir, 32 percent Chardonnay and 15 percent Pinot Meunier selected from the finest Crus of Champagne, this wine has a 2015 base with 35 percent reserve wines, four years of aging and a dosage of eight grams per liter. Champagne Lanson has been making rosé for more than 60 years. I love the darker rose color of the new label which used to be a brighter pink. Inside the bottle, the wine is a pale salmon color with gold specks. The nose has notes of red berries. The wine has lovely textures that lingers on the mid-palate.

Champagne Lanson Le Vintage 2008

A blend of 53 percent Pinot Noir and 47 percent Chardonnay sourced from 100 percent Grand and Premier Crus, this wine was from the 2008 harvest and bottled in 2009. It was disgorged in February 2016. It has beautiful notes of red apple, pear, and brioche and despite the aging, it is still a very young wine with fresh acidity.

Champagne Lanson Le White Label Sec

A blend of 50 percent Pinot Noir, 35 percent Chardonnay, and 15 percent Pinot Meunier, the base of this non-vintage wine is 2015. It was aged for four years and has 35 percent reserve wines. The dosage is 28 grams per liter. A straw yellow color, the wine has notes of lime, apricot, pear, flowers and honey. On the palate the wine has a lovely creaminess and the sweetness is balanced by the intense acidity.

Read the original story in the Napa Valley Register.