Most Admired Champagne Brands 2017: 16-30


There’s been plenty of exciting activity at Lanson over the past 12 months and more to come with an organic champagne based on the 2012 harvest in the offing. Cellarmaster Hervé Dantan is starting to enjoy his relatively new role at the helm. When I met up with him in early December, we tried the new 2008 Gold Label Vintage and the current Extra Age Blanc de Blancs release.

The Extra Age range is a great success for Lanson, and all three blends – the Brut, the Rosé and this Blanc de Blancs – have been showing very well when tasted over the past couple of years. A blend of three different vintages, currently 2003, ’04 and ’05, this all-Chardonnay blend is impeccably sourced from four Grands Crus in the Côte des Blancs – Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Cramant and Avize. Rich and expressive, it has a lovely, silky texture and yet it retails at a bargain price of around £50 in the UK.

The ’08 vintage, a 53% Pinot Noir, 47% Chardonnay blend, has a comparably high quality Grand Cru origin – Mesnil, Avize and Trépail for Chardonnay, Verzenay, Aÿ and Bouzy for Pinot Noir – Lanson likes to use Rolls Royce vineyard material and this pays off in the glass.

Fresh, sherbetty and spicy, it’s an exhilarating drink in its youth.