I’ve been in love with champagne since I was a teenager, but I now realise that aged champagne is wasted on the young. You really need a bit of life experience under your belt to have the emotional capacity to even register let alone embrace the many wonderful sensations provoked by an aged high quality champagne in mint condition. In my minds eye its like going from watching a flat 50inch screen TV to a multiplex cinema experience in 3D. My recent taste of Champagne Lanson 1976 in magnum, matched to an unusual creative dessert dish by Alain Ducasse at a high powered French press lunch in the heart of Paris nearly blew my mind and I found myself speechless (a very rare state for this reporter!).
With a well dressed member of restaurant staff to set my plate, another to add sauce to my dish, and a third to pour my champagne, in the rich and decadent surroundings of the Plaza Athenee, I suddenly felt like I had been transported back to the eighteenth century French royal court. When two senior French newspaper journalists on my table began passionately arguing the relative merits of certain food and wine matches from previous gastronomic gatherings, I realised this very special sensory journey was really a 21st century recreation of that famous gentleman’s club L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
As the feast proceeded each food and champagne match intrigued and satisfied all my senses – check out the Alain Ducasse menu for the Lanson Le Parfum du Temps Aged Vintages Media Launch Plaza Athenee:
1993 Champagne Lanson – cuisses de grenouille, truffe noire
1985 Champagne Lanson – langoustine, gelee
1982 Champagne Lanson – legumes et fruits
1997 Champagne Lanon – homard, pommes de mer
1990 Champagne Lanson – poularde rotie, girolles
1988 Champagne Lanson – brie de meaux truffe
1976 Champagne Lanson – brioche, creme, agrumes
When you come back down to Earth just remember that although its beyond priceless to taste such an amazing range of aged champagnes in one sitting, Lanson’s current vintage release – the fabulous Gold 2002 – is well within every champagne lover’s reach. Created by Victor Lanson in the 1950s as a champagne for family meals, Lanson Gold is usually available online circa GBP40/AU$60. Here’s a quick presentation of Lanson Gold 2002 by esteemed Chef de Caves Jean Paul Gandon: