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Champagne Lanson Gold Label Brut 2008
Champagne from France - Champagne
Lanson is one of the oldest houses in Champagne, founded in and family owned since 1760. 2008 is now accepted as a truly exquisite vintage and this blend of 53% pinot noir and 47% chardonnay, all sourced from grand cru vineyards, bears this out in some style. Despite its ten years of age, the wine's generous but youthful green-apple and lemon aromas show that there is plenty of time in hand. Its bright fresh acidity, underpinned by toasty richness, really showcases this stunning year. The grapes are sourced entirely from grand cru vineyards, and the class shows.
Champagne Lanson is based in Rheims and is one of the oldest houses in Champagne, celebrating their 250th anniversary in 2010, though it wasn’t until 1801 that the first Lanson appeared on the scene.
This was Jean-Baptiste from the Ardennes, who formed a partnership with then owner Nicolas-Louis Delamotte. By 1837 the house was renamed Lanson Père et Fils, and by 1900 Queen Victoria had awarded them her royal warrant. They have been supplying the British royal family ever since, alongside the royal families of Sweden and Spain. Until 1980 they had remained family owned but is now, after one or two changes of hands during which they lost their vineyard assets, under the umbrella of Lanson-BCC, a merger of Lanson International and the Boizel Chanoine Champagne Group (BCC).
The maintenance of their consistent high quality has been helped by the presence of Jean-Paul Gandon as chief winemaker for over 40 years and who did much to steer them back on an even keel when they had to replace their vineyards with excellent contract growers. Traditional winemaking is the order of the day here and ageing is a minimum of five years to give extra grace to the elegant but full-bodied wines that see no malolactic fermentation to blunt the delicious freshness.
A vintage where September saved the day after an indifferent summer which saw difficulties with mildew. Conditions at harvest, however, were excellent and the grapes healthy. Though acidity was a shade higher than normal, there was a fine balance in the wines, suggesting the prospect of excellent longevity. The fact that it was a widely declared vintage says it all and it is excellent overall.