In an increasingly challenging framework for champagne, with stiff competition from less complex and cheaper sparkling wines, some of the best Champagne houses have taken the bold step to invest in further increasing the already high quality of their wines.

Among these is the historic House Lanson, the flagship of Lanson-BCC Group (LAN:EN Paris) who has recently invested EURO 14 million to upgrade its production chain.

The investment is mainly aimed at modernising the production chain, the construction of a new stocking hall, the modernisation of the cuverie and the addition of 23 oak casks for a state of the art, thermo and hydro regulated ageing cellar.

By individually vinifyng and ageing its best crus and reserve wines, Lanson is able to better extract the uniqueness of crus and parcels, for more sophisticated and complex assemblages.

The use of oak is not intended to add any wood aromas to champagnes but to increase complexity, Hervé Dantan, the news Chef de Caves and Œnologue at Lanson explains “The objectif is not to give a oaky taste to our wines, but to benefit from the micro-oxygénation that wood allows [and for] assemblages to be more precise and complex.”

50 oak barrels have also being added for the ageing of Clos Lanson vintage cuvée, expected to be released in 2015 (2006 vintage).

In 2015 Lanson also expects to launch a revised flagship Black Label non-vintage cuvée that will include reserves wines as old as 10 years and more than 100 crus, together with a new habillage.

Lanson is one of the few Champagne Houses not to use malolactic fermentation during its wine-making process, resulting in crisper and fresher champagnes.

Follow the link to learn more about Lanson style, history and champagnes: