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Copyright © 2018
Forkmedia LLC


by Fred McMillin
for December 6, 2000


Just Checking!


Lanson Champagpe House chairman Victor Lanson is reputed to have drunk over 70,000 bottles of champagne during his lifetime.

...The Wines of France, Clive Coates

McMillin's near Reims checking Lanson

Mr. And Mrs. McMillin near Reims checking Lanson and other champagnes.

What Was Victor Checking?

"Lanson's Black Label is one of the world's best-known champagnes. It is fresh, citrussy and clean."

...Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine, Christopher Foulkes

"Lanson is especially well known for its non-vintage Black Label, a very reliable, fragrant, fruity champagne with a soft, fresh taste."

...The Wine Atlas of France, Johnson & Duijker

Now, the Black Label is blended from 40 to 50 crus ("crews"), each fermented separately. So, any conscientious chairman would have to keep close tabs on what his winemakers were doing with his best-selling Black Label, which is our...

Wine of the Day

Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne
Reims, France
Lanson Founded?—1760
Total Lanson Production?—About ten million bottles a year
The Name Lanson Doesn't Sound French—See the postscript for the German connection.
To Find Your Bottle of Lanson—Contact the office of René Laliberti, (860) 409-9119, FAX (860) 409-9272
My Panel's Rating of the Black Label—The men gave it a RECOMMENDED, the ladies a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Very exciting before and during your holiday feast, particularly with that turkey.
Price—$28 range

Postscript—The German Connection

Some 200 years ago, the Lansons were a German family living in the Ardennes. The French were hiring Germans to do the heavy lifting in the production of champagne. However, the Germans were very alert and competent, learned the business, and often wound up running and finally owning the firms that employed them.

The Lansons provide a textbook example of the German connection.

The Frenchman Francois Delamotte founded the firm in 1760. In 1828 Francois' son took on Jean-Baptiste Lanson as a partner. A decade later, two more Lansons joined the firm. In 1856, the last of the Delamottes passed away and the firm's name was changed to that of its new owners, the Lansons.

For more about the history of Lanson, see Tom Stevenson's World Encyclopedia of Champagne, reviewed in WineDay Annex article, " No Trouble with These Bubbles."


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.



This page created December 2000