6 Champagnes for Summer Celebrations

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Life at the Top: $100 or More

The finest Champagnes don’t come cheap. The best wines are the product of rigorous selection, long aging—and a good deal of hype.

It’s easy to recommend one of the famous names that come at a handsome price. Instead, here’s a wine that’s great in the glass and hasn’t (yet) attracted too much marketing attention.


94 Lanson NV Extra Age Brut Rosé, $125

The palest pink in color, this is a mature, ripe Champagne. It certainly hints at the extra age
(five years in the cellar), which gives it a glow of richness and toasty flavors. Fine lines of acidity cut through the full texture to give a wonderful, balanced wine that’s ready to drink.

This is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, only from grand cru vineyards in the Côte de Blancs (for the Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (for the Pinot Noir). 

What makes it so special is what it says on the label—Extra Age. That five years in the company’s cellars fully suits the Lanson style of no malolactic fermentation. 

Because of this, any recently released Lanson Champagne is crisp. With age, as here, the crispness gives way to toastiness, while maintaining acidity and balance. 

The combination of the toastiness and the richness of a multivintage blend (in this case, wines from 2002, 2004 and 2005) informs the character of this wine. This is a true special-occasion Champagne. 

Serve it with food, certainly. Share it with your loved one, definitely (as long as your partner doesn’t mind you talking about the wine). Or just enjoy it as a celebration of Champagne itself. 

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6 Champagnes for Summer Celebrations

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