chassenay d'arce chai


Chassenay d'Arce Champagne is produced in the most southerly vineyards of the Champagne A.O.C. region, namely the Côte des Bar in the French department of Aube. This vineyard area comprises 20% of the appellation, the remainder being divided between the Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. The House of Chassenay d'Arce is a growers' co-operative, established in 1956 by 50 growers but now numbering 140, which is firmly focussed on producing high quality Champagne wines. The co-op. takes its name from the 11th. century Chassenay Castle and is located in the village of Ville sur Arce. A range of both vintage and non-vintage wine is produced with the most prestigious wine being the Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Confidences.

Chassenay d'Arce The 325 hectares of vineyards from which Chassenay d'Arce's wines are made lie in the sheltered valley of the River Arce and have a perfect southerly or south-easterly aspect. This area is actually closer to Dijon than it is to Reims and this more southern location results in greater ripeness of the grapes, and hence fruitiness of the wines, than is more commonly the case in Champagne. This, however, does not imply a lack of elegance and refinement in the finished product but rather it results in a little less astringent acidity than is sometimes found in the champagne wines from further north. The soil here also shares a link with Burgundy as instead of the cretaceous chalk of the vineyards in the Marne the predominant soil-type in the Côte des Bar is Kimmeridgian Marl clay over-lain with Portland Limestone which is the same geology that produces the fine northern white Burgundy wines of Chablis.

Another important factor influencing the fruit character of the wines produced here is the dominance of the Pinot Noir vine which accounts for 90% of all plantings. A lighter, more floral, touch with some minerality is contributed by the 9% of Chardonnay vines while the growers of Chassenay d'Arce have retained 2 ha. of the historically important Pinot Blanc from which a rare single varietal champagne is produced. This is the vintage Cuvée Pinot Blanc, made in only the most exceptional years from vines that were planted in the 1950s through to the 1970s. The current vintage release is the 2005. This wine is classed as an Extra Brut and, as such, has had no extra sugar added at disgorgment, in itself a testament to the quality and ripeness of the grapes.


The Wines of Champagne Chassenay d'Arce

The wines of Champagne Chassenay d'Arce express the terroir of the region thanks to the art and skill of the viticulturists and oenologists and display great finesse. In addition to the vintage Cuvée Pinot Blanc Champagne Chassenay d'Arce also produces a Cuvée Vintage Brut in particularly good years the latest vintage being from the 2005 harvest. This champagne has just been awarded The Champagne Master 2013 Gold by a panel of leading industry experts in a blind-tasting. The pride of the house, meanwhile, is the Chassenay d'Arce Confidences Brut, a blanc de noirs - a white wine made exclusively from red grapes whereby the juice is immediately run-off the skins during pressing and therefore extracting no colour from the grape skins. This wine is an assembly of reserve wines from purely vintage-declared years. This superb champagne displays a very persistent mousse, great depth of flavour and the long finish which is the hallmark of all great wines. It posseses great ageing potential whilst providing excellent drinking on its release.

Luxury cuvees aside the overwhelming majority of Champagne houses are judged on the quality of their non-vintage wines. Champagne Chassenay d'Arce excels by easily exceeding the Appelation Controlee regulations, which stipulate that the wine should age in bottle on its lees (the dead yeast cells which collect after fermentation is complete) for a minimum of 15 months, by ageing its non-vintage champagnes for between 4 and 5 years before they are released to the market. Four such wines are produced; Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Premiere composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonay), the delightfully salmon-pink Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Rosé (100% Pinot Noir) and finally the Chassenay d'Arce Cuvée Apolline Demi-Sec (60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay) which is a perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or to serve with dessert.

A glass of good champagne is, in itself, cause for celebration - a glass or two of Champagne Chassenay d'Arce even more so.


Recent awards won by Chassenay d'Arce:


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