What do the world’s best-selling Champagnes taste like?

9. Lanson


Lanson sells 4.2 million bottles annually

Label: Lanson Black Label Brut Non-Vintage
Blend (approx.): 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier
Reserve wine (%): 30 (minimum)
Lees ageing (months): 36 (minimum)
Dosage (g/l): 8
MLF: Predominantly blocked
Price (RRP, UK): £30
Size (approx. annual sales, 2015): 4.2 million bottles
Cellar master: Hervé Dantan

Aside from the distinctive dark packaging, Lanson’s Brut Non-Vintage, called Black Label, stands out in this list for two reasons.

Firstly, and most importantly, Lanson prevents its wines from going through the malolactic fermentation, which means that they retain the mouth-watering malic acid, and pure apple-like flavours inherent in all grapes, but particularly those grown in Champagne.

Secondly, Lanson Black Label is the only Brut NV among the 10 biggest sellers to print disgorgement dates on its back labels – which means the drinker can quickly tell when the Champagne was corked.

This is very helpful if you choose to cellar the non-vintage wine, and especially so for Lanson, which is a style of Champagne made for extended ageing.

Like other houses in this list, Lanson has invested in a number of quality improvements in recent history, most notably a longer period spent ageing on its lees, as well as off them (post-disgorgement), along with a slight drop in dosage.

Buyers of Black Label can expect an extremely fresh style of Champagne with an appealing green apple bite along with toasted bread and nutty notes, lending complexity to the fizz. While this is fresh and pure in style, Lanson has layers of flavour, and has impressed judges in the Champagne Masters for its complexity and brightness.

Champagne Masters 2017 medal: Silver


11 Responses to “What do the world’s best-selling Champagnes taste like?”

  1. Tim Ambler says:

    What champagnes were tasted other than the five reported?

  2. Great review of champagnes – but what glass was used for the tasting: the flute that was recently scorned by one house, the old fashioned saucer, or another whose name we should be told?

  3. Christine says:

    Which Champagne will you be featuring in part 2?

  4. Patrick Schmitt says:

    We use Schott Zwiesel Cru Classic white wine glasses.

  5. This trend of the consumer has occurred in Spain and in particular in the largest consumer and production region, Catalonia.
    At the moment the cavas / wines sparkling brut nature are the greater part of the offer

    Content of sugar:

    BRUT NATURE Hasta 3 g/l y sin adición de azúcar
    EXTRA BRUT Hasta 6 g/l
    BRUT Hasta 12 g/l
    EXTRA SECO Entre 12 y 17 g/l
    SECO Entre 17 y 32 g/l
    SEMI SECO Entre 32 y 50 g/l
    DULCE Más de 50 g/l

    Wines Inform Assessors, Barcelona

  6. Patrick Schmitt says:

    The top 10 are now featured in this list, with the extra five best-sellers being Canard-Duchêne, Lanson, Piper-Hiedsieck, Pommery and Taittinger.

  7. Chris says:

    Quantity and quality rarely make good bedfellows.

  8. Johan Tan says:

    I’m surprised that they didn’t include Louis Roederer in this list. But i guess they only picked the brands with more than 4 million bottles sold in 2015…

  9. Chris says:

    Yeah it’s an interesting list. Must have a price point feature or bottle caps. I would put in a big shout for Charles hiedsick,

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