Lanson, established in 1760 has been creating Champagne using the traditional wine-making method without malolactic fermentation with the majority of the grapes in their blends from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards. Hervé Dantan, Winemaker at Lanson since 2013, learnt all Lanson’s production secrets and philosophy of the house from Jean-Paul Gandon, his predecessor at the helm for 30 years previously. Dantan is now in full control on the Clos Lanson production and comments ‘“You get very special Chardonnay from Clos Lanson – it’s very generous in character but never forgets to be elegant. It’s never rich, and has a mineral core.”
The Clos is situated in the heart of the city of Reims, overlooked by the magnificent Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral and this 1-hectare plot is surrounded by walls. A Chardonnay plot that, in previous years, has ended up in the assemblage of other vintages. In 2006, the company was sold and when the new owners came across this unique and extraordinary plot it was inevitable that the plot should be used to create its own single vineyard Champagne. Facing temperatures of 2 degrees higher than in the usual vineyards in Reims, this walled plot has a much riper yield. Lanson is one of the first producers to harvest, due to this plot’s micro-climate. It contains very chalky soil and this creates the ideal growing for the vines and grapes.
Due to the size of the plot, production is limited. Each of the 7,780 bottles created are Individually numbered and prior to bottling the wines are vinified in wood for 6-8 months. Dantan suggests that the dosage is low at 2/3 g/L as the “wine is very expressive and generous.”
At the recent launch, Dantan conducted a vertical vin clair from the Clos Lanson plot from 2006 to 2015. Each vintage showed well but the stand outs to look for in future were 2008 and 2012 and 2015.
Recently Nick tasted a bottle of Clos Lanson 2006 with Lanson’s Managing Director Paul Beavis at 67 Pall Mall. Clos Lanson 2006 is a pale golden colour with a stream of fine bubbles, initially on the nose are hints of lemon and roasted apples. On the palate, it is very delicate, lemon and ripe fruits are abundant, leading to a mid palate of toasted biscuits and vanilla. The length of flavour is long at the finish.
Clos Lanson 2006 will soon be available from The Finest Bubble after release in June 2016.