Champagne AR Lenoble
2nd March 2015
Maison AR Lenoble is one of the rare Houses in Champagne that is still entirely independent and family-owned. Sister-and-brother owners Anne and Antoine Malassagne are the great-grandchildren of Armand-Raphaël Graser who founded AR Lenoble nearly 100 years ago in 1920.
In 1915, Armand-Raphaël Graser, originally a wine merchant in Alsace, left the region of his birth in order to move to Champagne. Deciding to settle in Damery, he moved into a house constructed in 1772 in the architectural style typical of Champagne at the time. This 18th century building remains the headquarters of the company today.
In 1920 Armand-Raphaël began to produce Champagne, and decided to commercialise his wines under the brand name of “AR Lenoble”, “AR” for his initials and “Lenoble” in homage to the nobility of Champagne wines.
In 1947, Armand-Raphaël suffered a fatal accident by falling into a tank during the harvest. His son Joseph succeeded him, but upon Joseph’s retirement in 1973, the House found itself in a difficult financial situation following several years of poor management by the son of the founder. It was Jean-Marie Malassagne, grandson of Armand-Raphaël, who was anxious to keep the house in the family fold and decided to take over the reins.
The crisis that arrived in Champagne in 1993 eventually encouraged Jean-Marie to step down. He consulted his three children to gauge their level of interest in taking over the family business.
His eldest son was a physician and surgeon and so declined the offer. His youngest son had only recently finished his studies as a chemical engineer. It was Anne, Jean-Marie’s only daughter, who had made a career for herself at L’Oréal and considered herself to be extremely removed from the Champagne milieu at the time, who decided to return to Champagne in order to inject the House with energy and focus. Anne’s brother Antoine joined his sister three years later.
Over the past 20 years, Anne and Antoine Malassagne have taken the time to devote themselves entirely to the build the personality of their champagnes. A balance between power and elegance has made the reputation of their Champagnes today.
Maison AR Lenoble uses exclusively our own chardonnay from our 10 hectares in the Grand Cru village of Chouilly and exclusively our own pinot noir from our 6 hectares in the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil. Our parcellaire aproach begins in our unique vineyards and continues through every step of the winemaking process. As a general rule, dosage is reduced to a minimum, enabling us to create wines of exceptional finesse and authenticity.
Maison AR Lenoble has always been committed to sustainable agriculture methods as part of our longstanding sustainable development philosophy. We are one of the very few producers in Champagne to have been granted the “Haute Valeur Environnementale” (High Environmental Value) certification.
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