Lanson launches in Russia
Published: December 19, 2012 (Issue # 1740)
Lanson, the world’s third-oldest champagne house and the official purveyor of champagne to the British royal family since 1900, has began distributing in St. Petersburg — just in time for the festive season.
“Our trademark champagne that gives a clear idea of the taste of a Lanson wine is Black Label Brut, with its floral and fruity bouquet with a hint of toast,” said Jean-Paul Gandon, Lanson’s chief enologist who has worked for the company for an impressive 40 years, making it the longest alliance between an enologist and a champagne house in the region.
“If there is one non-vintage brut champagne that is universally appreciated, it surely is Lanson Black Label,” he said.
Lanson produces five million bottles of champagne per year — all branded with the coat of arms of Elizabeth II — and the company’s cellars contain about 20,000 bottles, with the oldest one dating back to the 1910s, according to Emmanuel Gantet, Lanson’s export manager.
The Lanson champagne house was established in 1760 by François Delamotte, whose son, Nicolas-Louis, a Knight of the Order of Malta, succeeded the father as head of the family business in 1798. It was his affiliation with the order of Malta that inspired Nicolas-Louis to put the Maltese Cross on the bottles as the company’s crest.
In 1828, Nicolas-Louis Delamotte joined forces with Jean-Baptiste Lanson, who in 1837 gave his name to the champagne house.
Today Lanson enjoys the reputation of not only one of the most venerable champagne houses, but also one of the most glamorous. Lanson champagnes were served at the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth this summer, marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of the queen to the British throne, and they feature prominently at Wimbledon tennis championships’ social events.
The U.K. wine retailer Oddbins offers a taste of what the Brits themselves think of the brand in an introduction on its website.
“Do not be fooled by the Maltese Cross and the black uniform that Lanson wears, it is not a member of the St. John Ambulance,” Oddbins’ website reads. “It can’t patch up minor cuts and grazes, it doesn’t know what the acronym DRAB stands for and it’s ineffective at employing the recovery position. However, what this Champagne lacks in basic First Aid knowledge, it more than makes up for in consistency, reputation and quality. Lanson, with its fresh style, puts a smile on any face, but we don’t recommend administering it at the scene of an accident.”
Lanson’s signature feature, which the company has pledged to never compromise, is that the wines do not undergo malolactic fermentation, ensuring a fresh, crisp and ultra-fruity style that makes Lanson champagne stand out.
The brand is especially proud of its Rose Label Brut, which has a lingering rosehip aftertaste and is a bestseller in its category in a number of European countries and in North America. Lanson was one of the first companies to introduce the world to rose champagnes in the early 1950s.