On the Trail

The Launois Lifestyle

David Driscoll

Deep in the heart of Champagne country between the rolling hills and the numerous vineyards, sits the Launois estate; a house located in the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger that dates back to 1872. Located on the prestigious Côte des Blancs, where only the best grand cru quality chardonnay grapes are grown, are the Launois vineyards; almost fifty hectares of immaculate fruit that makes some of the most elegant and graceful Champagne in the region. For eight generations, Launois has been a family-run house and today the operation is managed by Bernard Launois with his daughter Severine. Together they continue to honor the tradition of their ancestors, harvesting their vineyards with great care and using old world methods to make a focused and electric style of Champagne. 

Using the best possible grapes from the best possible terroir, while doing much of the winemaking by hand in small quantities, you would think the Launois wines would demand the highest of price tags. Bernard himself is a man of strong principles. He doesn't like to use stainless steel for fermentation, opting instead for the enamel-lined iron tanks he's been using for decades. He believes in the techniques and values passed down from previous generations. Yet, it's precisely because of this practical and old-fashioned mindset that the wines of Launois remain incredibly affordable, especially considering their popularity here at K&L and their limited quantities. We buy as much Champagne as we possibly can each year from the Launois family and it's still never enough. The bottles move out in cases for customers just as quickly as they're unloaded off the truck. After years of drinking big house brands, the clear-cut quality and value of the Launois wines is a clean and apparent as the vibrant acidity and laser-like flavor within them. They represent luxury within reach; a top-shelf experience for a mid-range fee. 

Another container of Launois has just landed just in time for the holidays, so once again we're alerting our most passionate Champagne drinkers of its arrival. Our full selection of Launois can be seen here. To me, Launois is one of the best possible examples of what K&L offers wine lovers as a retailer, it's one of the best products we carry and it's indicative of a lifestyle that I enjoy living: drinking the best the world has to offer for prices I can afford. My first bottle of the Launois "Cuvée Reserve" was an absolutely delicious, world-changing, life-altering experience. When you first taste it and you realize that you only paid $35, you start to wonder what else you've been overpaying for? What about those shoes you ordered online? What about that special cheese you bought from the artisan market? Maybe there are other secrets like this out there that you just don't know about. 

-David Driscoll