Sister-and-brother owners Anne and Antoine Malassagne are the great-grandchildren of Armand-Raphaël Graser who founded AR Lenoble in 1920. For nearly a century, AR Lenoble has remained 100% family-owned and 100% independent.
In 1993, sister-and-brother Anne and Antoine started to transform the house they inherited from their father and in just over 25 years, they have quietly yet confidently transformed AR Lenoble into one of the jewels of the Champagne region.
AR Lenoble has always maintained its total independence since its creation almost 100 years ago, in 1920. No investor or shareholder has ever been involved in the business, thus ensuring a high degree of stability in the strategy of the House.
AR Lenoble believes very strongly in privileging the characteristic expression of fruit from its own vineyards located in three prime locations in Champagne: the Grand Cru village of Chouilly, the first village on the Côte des Blancs (10 hectares of chardonnay); the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil, located between Mareuil-sur-Ay and Tours-sur-Marne (6 ha of pinot noir) and home of rich and structured Pinot Noir; the village of Damery, located to the immediate east of Cumières (2 ha of meunier).
Ploughing is routinely practiced in our vineyards to make sure that our plants are able to obtain the maximum of nutrition from the soils.
Cover crops of grass amongst the vines have significantly reduced yields at AR Lenoble, which are today much lower than the average in Champagne. At harvest, our grapes show gains in both quality and maturity.
We control the date we begin picking in each of our parcels to consistently obtain ideal ripeness.
AR Lenoble was the second House in Champagne to be awarded the “Haute Valeur Environnementale” certification in recognition of more than 20 years of environmentally-friendly procedures put in place on the estate: zero use of chemical fertilisers, zero use of weed killer, drastic limits on the use of phytosanitary inputs to control mildew and powdery mildew in the vineyard, and particular attention to biodiversity and enhancement of the vineyard with hedgerows, orchards, embankments, trees and low walls.
All pressing at AR Lenoble is done by us in one of three traditional Coquard presses in Damery. AR Lenoble only uses the "Cuvée" from the first grape press in the making of its wines, never the "Taille".
A combination of different vinification vessels are employed so that individual parcels are fermented accordingly in small Burgundy barrels of 225 litres, 5000-litre foudres, stainless steel tanks and/or enamel-lined tanks. Malolactic fermentation is done or not done according to parcel and year.
AR Lenoble pays particular attention to the ageing of its reserve wines, in particular by conserving them in magnums sealed with natural cork to preserve freshness and develop aromatic richness.
All of our wines are aged in our historic 18th-century chalk cellars with a constant temperature of 11°C and a humidity level of 85%.
AR Lenoble was an early advocate of limiting dosage in order to let the terroir express itself purely and precisely. AR Lenoble Brut Nature Dosage Zéro was created for the first time in 1998 and is considered to be one of the first world-class examples of this style of wine.
We are constantly experimenting in an attempt to craft better and better wines each year and have a very empirical approach to winemaking in order to adapt ourselves to the quality of the grapes.
Although many of the earliest producers of Champagne arrived in the region from Germany during the 18th and 19th centuries, Armand-Raphaël Graser arrived in Champagne from his native Alsace in 1915 in the middle of the First World War. He started producing champagne in 1920, two years after the end of the war. Not wanting to have a German-sounding last name at that particular moment in history, he christened his wines “Lenoble” as he believed the wines of Champagne to be the most noble wines in France; his initials “AR” preceded the “Lenoble” and a new name was born! Since the beginning, AR Lenoble has believed very strongly in privileging the characteristic expression of fruit from its own vineyards located in three prime locations in Champagne.
Anne and Antoine Malassagne
Sister-and-brother owners Anne and Antoine Malassagne are the great-grandchildren of Armand-Raphaël Graser. They took over in 1993 from their father and in just over twenty years, they have quietly yet confidently transformed AR Lenoble into one of the jewels of the Champagne region.
Anne and Antoine manage every aspect of the business personally, supported by a team of 12 individuals spread between the vineyards, the winery and the offices. They complement each other perfectly, Antoine having a natural capacity to take care of the vineyards and craft the wines while Anne naturally finds herself drawn to administrative management and communication. Both of them travel the world extensively.
AR Lenoble is 100% family-owned and 100% independent. We do not answer to anyone except ourselves.