During our last visit in Champagne, in December 2021, we had the great opportunity for a private visit and tasting at maison Lanson. And what a fabulous experience it was! With many thanks to our lovely host Laurine Banchet who guided us professionally through the history and the most beautiful cuvées of this very special Champagne house.
Located in the South-West of the city of Reims, Lanson is the notorious champagne house founded by François Delamotte in 1760. Nicholas-Louis, the son of François Delamotte and a member of the Hospitaller’s Order of Malta, was the one who introduced, in 1798, the famous red Maltese cross as the symbol of the champagne house and since then it’s been embellishing the label of each Lanson bottle.
The entire fascinating history of the house is revealed during the visit, including a gallery of the most emblematic cuvées along its history. A fun fact, at the inauguration of the Eiffel’s Tower, during L’Exposition Universelle de Paris (1889), it was used the Lanson champagne (vintage 1883).
The visit continued with the production area, where more technical informations were offered and we could see the wood barrels where reserve wines are stored and the steel tanks where the first fermentation takes place.
The next step was to enter into the huge cellars, purposefully called Paradis Lanson where, hidden between mountains of champagne bottles, we also discovered a small museum of antique machinery used by the house (something similar we saw at Mumm, too).
Then we went deeper inside the cellars to the place where oldest vintages and rare bottles are kept (including the bottles from Clos Lanson).
We had the pleasure to make some more photos before getting back to the ground level and heading to the famous Clos Lanson.
And here we are, admiring Clos Lanson, famous for being the only remaining plot that actually is located right into the city of Reims. It’s about one hectare of biodynamical Chardonnay vines, dating from the XVIII century, and has the benefit of a specific microclimate, in the center of Reims. The soil is massively chalky.
Unfortunately, it was December, but even if the vines looked a bit boring to the eye, in reality, deep inside the apparently sleeping plants, the biological processes were actively concentrated into gathering the necessary strength for the springtime blooming.
The last part of our visit was, of course, the tasting. We were spoiled with 4 cuvées: Le Black Réserve, Le Green Label (bio-organic), Le Millésime 2009 and Le Clos Lanson (millésime 2007). All the cuvées tasted were amazing but let’s focus now on the main vedette: Le Clos Lanson 2007. It’s a Blanc de Blancs made only with the best manually picked grapes from the homonym historical plot, carefully vinified a few months in oak barrels without malolactic fermentation, than it goes in the bottle for a prolonged 12 years second fermentation. The sugar dosage is only 3grams/litter, and the production is naturally limited to around 7000 bottles. On the nose we distinguished superb notes of white flowers, especially acacia, mixed with sublime hints of toasted almonds and hazelnuts, vanilla and brioche. On the palate it’s incredibly authentic, pure and mineral. Long and complex, still fresh, vibrant and sophisticated at the same time, elegant, with lovely fine bubbles and a hint of salinity at the end. Graceful persistent aftertaste. It’s a real treat for a champagne lover!