x
  • Weather

    3° C Scattered clouds
  • Time

    04:21 AM
  • Wine average?

    90 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    603
  • Region Ranking?

    70
  • Popularity ranking?

    222

History

Champagne AR Lenoble, one of the few remaining champagne houses to be family-run and entirely independent. In 1915 Armand-Raphaël Graser, then a wine merchant in Alsace, left his native region for Champagne. He settled in Damery in an 18th century building with typical Champagne architecture, now the company’s headquarters. From 1920 onwards he began to produce champagne which he sold under the brand ‘AR Lenoble’ – ‘A.R.’ as his initials and ‘Lenoble’ as a tribute to the nobility of champagne wines.

 

In 1947 he fell to his death when checking a vat during the grape harvest, and was succeeded by his son Joseph.

In 1973, upon Joseph’s retirement, the company found itself in a difficult financial situation following extremely bad management. However, Jean-Marie Malassagne – the grandson of Armand-Raphaël – was keen to keep the company in the family and took up the reins with passion.

 

In 1993 the Champagne region was not spared crisis, prompting Jean-Marie to hand over the business. His three children were consulted regarding potentially taking it on, failing which the company would be sold. His eldest son, a doctor and surgeon, declined the offer, and his youngest son had only just completed his studies and thus had no desire to attempt the venture. His daughter Anne, however – who was working at L’Oréal, far from the world of champagne – decided to return to the estate and join the company to bring it new momentum. Three years later, it was Antoine’s turn to join his sister after having cut his teeth in the agri-food sector.

The fourth generation is in place.

 

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Vineyards

Of the 319 villages making up the Champagne region, only 17 are classified as Grand Cru and 44 as Premier Cru. It is amid these outstanding quality terroirs that the 18 hectares of Champagne AR Lenoble vineyards can be found.

In the Chouilly terroir, one of the six villages holding the Grand Cru classification in the famous Côte des Blancs, we harvest Chardonnay grapes whose unique qualities are the hallmark of the company’s wines combining power, finesse and elegance.
In the Bisseuil terroir, Premier Cru in Montagne de Reims, we pick exceptionally intense Pinot Noir.
This unique grape is used to produce rare and wonderfully refined wines, with a minimal dosage that brings out their natural freshness and excellence.

 

The soils of the Champagne region are predominantly limestone. This type of soil provides excellent drainage by storing water through capillary absorption.

The highly porous nature of the limestone creates a large water reservoir (300-400 l/m2) and allows it to escape quickly in overly damp conditions, or alternatively brings drops of water up from depths of dozens of metres during extremely dry periods. This natural water regulation promotes a perfect balance between acidity and sugar, giving the champagne its unique character.

In Chouilly, Côte des Blancs Grand Cru containing the majority of the AR Lenoble vineyards, Chardonnay is planted in pure limestone soils formed of plankton which accumulated on the sea bed more than 75 million years ago.

 

In Bisseuil, Montagne de Reims Premier Cru, Pinot Noir develops powerful aromas thanks to the limestone quarries on which this beautiful terroir has built its reputation.

At AR Lenoble, the exceptional natural qualities of the Chouilly and Bisseuil soils are enhanced through shallow tillage. This technique cuts off shallow roots, forcing them to naturally dig deeper into the soil where they find richer nutrients – one of the secrets behind the powerful aromas found in the company’s wines.

 

Champagne AR Lenoble has always been committed to sustainable agriculture methods in its vineyards as part of a longstanding philosophy of sustainable development.

This approach has long been formalised in the company’s environmental charter. Following many years of passionate commitment to this charter by Anne and Antoine Malassagne, it has now been officially recognised with the awarding of ‘Haute Valeur Environnementale’ (high environmental value) certification which is emerging as a strong alternative to organic farming.

The procedure for obtaining HVE certification is objectively quantified, and built around four areas: biodiversity, plant health strategy, fertiliser management and water resource management.

 

The third-level HVE certification which AR Lenoble has been awarded attests to the fact that the company has reached environmental performance thresholds in each of these four areas. It represents the reward for twenty years of environmentally-friendly procedures being used on the estate, such as working the soil (grass cover and tillage) and sustainable disease control.

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Winemaking

The quality charter set out by Champagne AR Lenoble details the rules of excellence, which have been scrupulously observed for more than twenty years.

These rules, inspired by ancestral expertise and applied to modern techniques, dictate every single one of the actions performed throughout the process of producing AR Lenoble champagnes. They are the unwavering guardians of impeccable, uncompromising quality. For example, during the picking process (which is always done manually), bunches of grapes which do not meet the company’s standards are not included.

 

Upon arrival at the press, the grapes are sorted by provenance, separating out those from the best plots of land which will be used in the blends for vintage and Prestige champagnes. They are then poured onto one of three wooden vertical presses specific to the tradition of champagne making. Awarded quality approval by the Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne (CIVC), they offer a gentle grape-pressing process which ensures high-quality juices not tainted with any hint of bitterness. Operated by people, such presses are now the exception in the Champagne region. Champagne AR Lenoble does not give up on traditions (even those which are difficult to implement) if they affect the quality of the wine, meaning that it continues with activities which are now too often abandoned.

 

Following the same philosophy applied to viticulture, Champagne AR Lenoble’s vinification methods are as natural as possible. Indeed, it would be futile to practice integrated viticulture if the wines were not produced along the same lines.

Grapes which are harvested healthy enable the reduction or even elimination of chemical treatments applied to the must. When the health of the grapes permits it, this therefore favours indigenous yeasts rather than the systematic use of exogenous yeasts.
The technique of refrigeration has been used to clarify the wines for many years, instead of fining which involves proven allergenic risks.
Finally, the wines are vinified and aged in one of the company’s 300 2.25hl barrels or in the 50hl foudre barrel, greatly facilitating a totally natural wine clarification process.


To ensure an extremely pure vinification process, wood is also delicately used to magnify the exceptional natural qualities of the Chouilly and Bisseuil terroirs. Stirring thus still takes place at AR Lenoble, and daily monitoring of every barrel ensures that the wines gain great aromatic complexity without becoming tainted or heavy.

When the demand for excellence justifies it, Champagne AR Lenoble updates ancient activities to suit current tastes, standing alongside ultra-modern techniques to produce highly sought-after champagnes of a truly rare quality.

 

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Inside information

For twenty years now, instead of mere passing trends, the founder’s great-grandchildren Anne and Antoine Malassagne have chosen time, longevity and authenticity to build the personalities of their champagnes. Today, their reputations have been made with wines that successfully balance power and elegance.

Drawing on expertise inherited from their forebears, Anne and Antoine have left their mark on the company. Their approach combines tradition and modernity with an ongoing demand for quality.

 

In twenty years, Champagne AR Lenoble has created wines with a unique style which have gained renown thanks to their own particular qualities: structured, delicate, precise, elegant, intimate. AR Lenoble champagnes stand for emotion and mutual enjoyment, a secret shared with close friends…

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6 different wines with 10 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  56 wines 

The Champagne Magazine's "The 100-Best Champagnes 2022" tasting - Day 2.

2m 28d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  198 wines 

Wow, the 100 Best Champagnes ranking for 2021 is launched. It was such a pleasure to be part of the tasting panel and experience the great overall quality of all the champagnes. Such a superb line-up from prestige champagnes to non-vintages from Grands Maisons to growers and coops. Where there any surprises? Hell yes, check out the rankings and you'll see!

11m 6d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  41 wines 

2017 Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Blanchots / Pale lemon yellow. Apples, minerals, detailed, nuanced, intense nose, layered. Fresh acidity, apples, lemons, spices, nuanced, layered and detailed, intense and long, superb. 96 points

2y 5m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  67 wines 

Champagne Magazine's The 100 Best Champagnes -tasting day II - best Rosé's and Blanc de Blancs'

3y 6m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  34 wines 

The 100 Best Champagnes 2017 - tasting day II - 40 Blanc de Blancs!

4y 2m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  49 wines 

“The 100 Best Champagnes 2016 - Tasting Part IV - The best Blanc de Blancs Champagnes.”

5y 8m ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  32 wines 

“This Rousseau Chambertin 1946 is possibly one of the last bottles in existence. Allen found it 'delicious' and called it his 'surprise wine of the year.' Doug found it 'lovely.' It had a unique, nutty nose in a fresh popcorn way, a little gassy but still with nice smoke and earth aromas. The palate was also unique and delicious. Someone noted 'there is real grip here,' and the wine was absolutely rich, creamy and luscious, but 'more Brooklyn than Manhattan,' Rob accurately assessed. That is strictly a New York thing for those of you that might not get it, and it was 100% accurate. A touch dirtier and more rugged, the 1946 may have been more at home in detention than in a school play, but it was still excellent, alive and kicking. Long and with classic, citric tang on its palate and a pinch of what used to be vitamin, the 1946 stirred the pot up when Eric called it a '92 point wine but a 99 point experience.' Allen talked me down a point, but I think I talked him up one back ”

5y 10m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  10 wines 

“Champagne Tuesday in London! Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1985 was amazing, going on strong. Other highlights included Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2002, Salon 1990 and Dom Ruinart 1978!”

6y 10m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  AR Lenoble . In a tasting of  73 wines 

“1996 tasting.”

9y 1d ago

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