We tasted: A·R Lenoble “Gentilhomme” 2009

tasting during last winter, Maspalomas

When asked about the most prestigious independent Champagne house, A·R Lenoble should be on the short list. Founded in 1920, A·R Lenoble is one of the very rare houses in Champagne which has always been family-owned and completely independent throughout its history. A·R Lenoble is today managed by a sister-and-brother team of Anne and Antoine Malassagne, the fourth generation of the family running the estate and the great-grandchildren of founder Armand-Raphaël “AR” Graser. Native from Alsace, Joseph Graser, Armand-Raphaël’s father, had relocated during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 to Épernay where he met his future wife, Alice. When Joseph suddenly died at only 44 years, his son, Armand-Raphaël was forced to become head of the family at a very young age and started his professional life as a wine broker.

In 1920, Armand-Raphaël starts to produce his own wines under the name of Champagne Graser, although he quickly changes the name of his house to A·R Lenoble. With the Great War’s armistice still fresh in mind, he decided that a name with German connotations was perhaps not the best idea. He created his own brand called « A·R Lenoble », combining his initials « AR » with « Lenoble » as a tribute to the nobility of the wines of Champagne.

A·R Lenoble believes in the privileged expression of the grapes from their own vineyards, all of which have been certified Haute Valeur Environnementale since 2012 in recognition of more than twenty years of commitment to sustainability and biodiversity. Their domain consists of 10 hectares of Chardonnay in the Grand Cru village of Chouilly, 6 hectares of Pinot Noir in the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil, and 2 hectares of Meunier in Damery, in the Marne Valley.

Let’s now focus on this exceptional cuvée, “Gentilhomme” Grand Cru (Chouilly) Blanc de Blancs millésime 2009. Wonderful vanilla and toasty nose with beautiful complexity. Excellent minerality on the palate, it feels fresh but delicate, lively with hints of citrus, white flowers, hazelnuts, honey and pastry. The mousse is rich and creamy, leaving place to a long and very pleasant aftertaste. This champagne has a marvellous story to tell, and your palate will be delighted to find it.

CLB score

93

*take a look at our CLB scoring

Type of champagneExtra Brut/Dosage zéro
Vintage2009
Grapes100% Chardonnay
MaisonA·R Lenoble
Village/terroirChouilly (Côte des Blancs)
DegorgementN/A
AgedN/A (at least 4 years)
Dosage3g/L
Sizebottle (75cl)
Number of bottlesN/A
Price range (euro)90-100
Chef de CavesAntoine Malassagne
Other considerents100% proportion of wine sous bois

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