The Lanson family instituted the Vintage Collection concept as a celebration of their finest years. The idea is to keep vintage magnums on the lees under crown cap to be disgorged at a later date – by which time it is believed they reach a new platform of complexity and decadence, assisted by the larger format bottle size.
One of the rare houses to possess such a collection of fine vintages, the Lanson Vintage Collection brings together champagnes going back more than a century. Although the very oldest of the collection are reserved for the house, every year a few magnums from 1976 and subsequent vintages are released to a limited circle of enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
As always with old vintages, provenance is the key factor in ensuring your purchases live up to their potential. Given that the Lanson Vintage Collection magnums are stored in the Lanson cellars in Reims, good provenance is guaranteed. Further, the champagnes in the collection are handled as special orders and before being selected are tasted by Chef de Cave Hervé Dantan to ensure perfect quality. Each bottle comes with a special pouch that includes a film by the winemaker detailing the characteristics of the vintage.
We tasted five vintages of the collection with Dantan, from 1979 to 1990, during a visit to Champagne earlier this year. He told us: “They need to recover after disgorgement… around one year is good. After this time, they will be more complex and less fragile.” Asked to pick an absolute favourite, he opted for 1976.
The following Lanson Vintage Collection Magnums are available on our website now:
|Lanson Vintage Collection 1998 Magnum | 17.5+/20
53% PN, 47% CH | Lees Ageing: 17 Years | Disgorged: September 2016 | Dosage: 3 g/L
When first opened, the bread yeasty character was most prominent and with time in the glass more of the dried fruits and creamy pastry characters started to emerge. On the palate it has a lightness, good acidity and lots of fruits with citrus, lemons and oranges, ripe apples and pineapple. This is very youthful but showing some great development already. Drinking now but no rush for at least 15+ years.
|Lanson Vintage Collection 1995 Magnum | 19/20
53% PN, 47% CH | Lees Ageing: 20 Years | Disgorged: September 2016 | Dosage: 3 g/L
Quite restrained and elegant, lots of citrus like aromas with layers of dried apricots and dried almonds. A real zippy apple fresh acidity gives it great structure and lightness on the palate with some rich buttery pastry characters starting to emerge. Seems younger than the 1998. Very fine.
|Lanson Vintage Collection 1988 Magnum | 18.5+/20
51% PN, 49% CH | Lees Ageing: 28 Years | Disgorged: January 2017 | Dosage: 3 g/L
Creamy and really quite subtle and alluring with dried apricot and bundles of nuttiness and a drizzle of honey. Wow this is rather lovely has made us all want to taste this again!
|Lanson Vintage Collection 1979 Magnum | 18.5+/20
52% PN, 48% CH | Lees Ageing: 38 Years | Disgorged: February 2018 | Dosage: 3 g/L
This seems so young! All apricots and white truffle. This is like Sauternes with orange marmalade and acacia and when you go back after time in the glass you also smell oyster and iodine.
|Lanson Vintage Collection 1976 Magnum | 19.5/20
53% PN, 47% CH | Lees Ageing: 40 Years | Disgorged: January 2017 | Dosage: 3 g/L
Although golden amber in colour, this champagne doesn’t show many signs of age, it has kept wonderfully fresh and with it only being a year from disgorgement it just goes to show – keep a champagne on its lees and they age elegantly and without oxidation. The champagne is from one of the hottest years of the 20th century, yet it is very flavourful, lots of nuttiness and citrus, lemons and ripe blood oranges with layers of honey and dried almonds and a lovely rich and soft texture on the palate. Has a lift on the finish with fresh acidity and a salted almond character. Very good indeed. Also Herve’s favourite!