Champagne, Lanson Black Lable Brut, Reims France NV

Lanson began in 1760. It is one of the oldest Grandes Marques (big brands) Champagne houses. It is the fourth largest today. Even Queen Elizabeth II awarded them a warrant to supply the royal family. Who can argue with a queen who likes corgis?

Having found it on sale for $30, I opened a bottle of Black Label non-vintage: their most renown wine.

The Black Label draws on 50 to 60 crus (growers) and blends across vintages to ensure a consistent style like most major champagne houses. Pinot noir makes up half of the blend with chardonnay at 35% and pinot meunier providing 15%. The intense fruit reflects the dominance of pinot but grass and lime are not far behind thanks to the chardonnay. The wine is aged for at least three years, providing the loud atolytic notes of bread and rich mouthfeel.

To their credit, there is no malolactic creaminess, just clear cut acidity. You will need a soft creamy cheese or sauce to handle it, but once paired, the intense fruit, yeast and rustic aged notes will stand firm against most dishes.

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