Champagne Lanson has unveiled two new expressions of its prestige Noble Cuvée from the 2002 vintage. 'Noble Cuvée is only released when the year is very special and 2002 is one of the best vintages of the last decade, comparable to 1996, 1988, 1979 and 1964,' commented chef de cave Hervé Dantan, who visited London to celebrate the launch.
'Noble Cuvée was created in 1979 as our homage to Chardonnay. Very often Lanson champagnes have a higher proportion of Pinot Noir, so we wanted to create a champagne famous for its delicacy,' continued Dantan. 'We look for finesse and also ability for ageing. The philosophy for this cuvée is to keep it for a long time before releasing.'
Noble Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 2002 is a blend of grand cru Chardonnay from Avize, Chouilly, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant and Oger, with dosage of 6g/l. 'Chardonnay from Mesnil expresses a strong minerality, which is good for ripe vintages such as 2002,' explained Dantan.
An expressive nose offers aromas of citrus, apricot, nougat, with ripe toastiness and a nice honeyed note. There's lovely depth of flavour on the palate, which is layered with pear, zingy ripe grapefruit citrus, roasted nuts, and spice. A salty minerality on the finish offers plenty of potential for food-matching.
Noble Cuvée Brut 2002 is a blend of 70% grand cru Chardonnay from Avize, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant and Oger; and 30% grand cru Pinot Noir from Verzenay, with dosage of 6g/l. 'The Pinot Noir gives structure, body and vinosity,' said Dantan.
A well-rounded champagne, it opens with lime and grapefruit citrus notes, plus some floral aromas and a clean mineral streak. There's a voluptuous character to the complex palate, which offers fruity notes of ripe apricot and pear, with a persistent honeyed flavour on the finish.
Dantan, who joined Lanson in 2013, has been chef de cave since 2015. Although the house style of the maison remains unchanged, he has revolutionised the work in the cellar with a focus on 'very precise vinification'. Investment to increase the number of tanks allows more parcels to be vinified separately.
'I have also really pushed for increased oak ageing for the reserve wines that are used for Black Label,' said Dantan.
Lanson owns 120 hectares of vines in Champagne and also works with around 400 growers in 100 different villages.
Both 12% abv, RRP £125-150; Champagne Lanson UK; 020 7499 0070