Champagne house Maison Lanson’s newly unveiled Black Label Reserve, described as “a descendant” of its existing Black Label, with longer ageing time is now available in Hong Kong at St Regis Hotel.
From now till June, the luxury five-star hotel will be the only on-trade premise to be serving the wine in the city, according to Lanson’s local importer Enoteca.
The non-vintage Black Label Reserve is made from a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier from a selection of 70% of Grand Crus and Premier Crus, according to the Champagne house.
Compared with the house’s existing Black Label Brut NV, the wine went through at least five years of ageing and incorporated a higher portion of reserve wine at 45%. Black Label Brut uses 35% reserve wine and is aged for four years.
The wine is one of the two new wines the house unveiled last year, the other being Blanc de Blancs. The wine also comes in a newly designed wine label, with a more streamlined look and a detailed back label that lists out crus, dosage, blend, ageing, harvest time, disgorgement date and reserve wine (see pic below).
In addition to the Black Label Reserve, St Regis will be offering rare Lanson library wines from 1971 to 1974 vintages, according to Maxime Boureille, Lanson’s Business Development Manager for China & India. “Only wines from 1976 vintage and after are commercially available, so this is quite special,” he adds.
Speaking to media via zoom, the house’s cellarmaster Hervé Dantan explains that the wine also went through malolactic fermentation, a process that the winery has shunned for years.
Traditionally Champagne was made without malolactic fermentation but most producers have embraced the conversion process to make the wine more approachable. Lanson was among the last few houses in Champagne that have blocked the fermentation process until recently.
About 25% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation to avoid austerity and aggressiveness, Dantan explains.
He notes however vintage Champagnes from the house still is made without malolactic fermentation to retain its freshness and acidity for long-term ageing.
After Danton took the helm of the 261-year Champagne house in 2013, he gradually introduced MLF to non-vintage brut to make it softer and more approachable.
The wine is also available off trade via Enoteca in Hong Kong.