One of the oldest houses in Champagne, Lanson’s style can be distinguished by undeniably classic, intense and fruity wines. After turbulent years in the 1990s, they are once again steadfastly on firm ground under the umbrella of the Boizel Chanoine group and the direction of the CEO, Philippe Baijot. Jean-Paul Gandon, the head winemaker of the house for almost 30 years, was largely responsible for assuring the quality and consistency of the wines through the ups and downs of changing ownership. After spending two years working alongside Jean-Paul, the new chef de cave, Herve Dantan, has now taken charge of production.
16 Rue de Courlancy, Reims +33 3 26 78 50 50
The hallmarks of the wines of Lanson are vivid fruit, intensity of flavour and lively, refreshing acidity.
Lanson Black Label
50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. The grapes for this wine come from 50-60 different crus. It is aged for at least 3 years.
53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. The blend consists of wines from 50-60 different crus, and is aged for a minimum of 3 years. This subtle wine was one of the first rose champagnes.
50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier from 50-60 different crus, with a minimum ageing of 3 years.
Lanson Vintage Gold Label
53% Pinot Noir, 47% Chardonnay. All fruit comes from the Grands Cru communes of Cramant and Le Mesnil (for Chardonnay), and Ay, Louvois, Verzenay and Verzy (for Pinot Noir). Only made in the best vintages, this wine is an expression of the year and also the Lanson style. Since it was a longstanding policy of the house that none of the wines would go through malolactic fermentation, they often have a remarkable ability to age and retain freshness. The vintage Gold Label matures in the cellar for a minimum of five years.
Lanson Extra Age
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay from Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. This wine was produced to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the house, and is considered an ‘emblematic blend’ of the unique Lanson style.
Lanson Extra Age Rose
65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards. This is a non-vintage wine, but is blended from the best of the Lanson vintages. It spends at least five years ageing in the cellars before release.
Lanson Extra Age Blanc de Blancs
100% Chardonnay from Grand and Premier cru vineyards. The wine ages for five years in the cellars.
Lanson Noble Cuvee
70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Oger and Verzenay. It receives a minimum of five years’ ageing.
Lanson Noble Cuvee Rose
62% Grand Cru Chardonnay from Oger, Le Mesnil, Cramant and Chouilly, blended with Pinot Noir from the Grand Crus of Bouzy and Verzenay. Aged for five years.
Lanson Noble Cuvee Blanc de Blancs
100% Grand Cru Chardonnay from Avize and Cramant. This vintage wine is only made in the best years and has a dosage of 10g/L.
Lanson Vintage Collection
A rare and limited collection of old Lanson vintages has been held back over the years. They are stored in perfect cellar conditions until an order is received, at which time the bottle is disgorged, corked and dressed by hand.
Lanson Limited Edition Pink Label 2013
53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. This special release is a blend of 50-60 different crus and has a minimum ageing period of 3 years.
Lanson ‘Clos Lanson’ Vintage
100% Chardonnay. A new wine for Lanson, the 2006 inaugural vintage was launched in 2016. The fruit comes from a single walled vineyard in the centre of Reims, which is farmed biodynamically. It has a high proportion of chalk in the soil, giving elegance to the Chardonnay, and the warmer average temperatures at the location enable excellent ripeness levels. The wine is vinified in oak for 6-8 months, aged on the lees for 8 years, and the dosage is 2-3g/L. Only 7,800 bottles produced.
Lanson’s history begins at the same time and place as the establishment of the house of Delamotte, by Francois Delamotte in 1760. When Nicolas-Louis Delamotte (Francois’ youngest son) passed away in 1837, it was Jean-Baptiste Lanson who stepped in to manage the house alongside Nicola-Louis’ widow, Veuve Delamotte-Barrachin. Nineteen years later, Jean-Baptiste took full control and the house changed its name to Lanson Pere et Fils.
The house was passed down through family hands in the intervening years. During the interwar period in the 1930s, Victor Lanson was in charge, and was one of the first vignerons in Reims to use the first-rate, but unpopular, Pinot Noir grapes from the Aube.
Later, in 1991, Lanson was bought by Moet, which turned around and sold it just 175 days later to Marne & Champagne. Moet, however, retained all 208 hectares of Lanson vineyards.
Recovering from such a loss took time, about fifteen years, to regain access to the best vineyards through creating relationships with grape growers and suppliers. Since 2006, Lanson have had new owners, the Boizel Chanoine group, headed by the cheerful, capable Philippe Baijot, who is already leading Lanson to a brighter future.
The Lanson style of champagne owes much to its longstanding chef de cave, Jean-Paul Gandon, who first joined the house in the 1970s and worked as head winemaker for almost 30 years. Jean-Paul oversaw the wines through a turbulent period of changing ownership, and was unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence. This was shown in a revitalization of the wines from the 1990s onwards.
In 2015, having worked closely with Jean-Paul for two years, the new chef de cave, Herve Dantan, took the reins. One of the major changes he has recently introduced is that Lanson will now allow some malolactic fermentation to occur, where needed for balance. “But I don’t want us to lose our soul - Lanson will always be known for mouth-watering freshness.”