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Over and above the intrinsic qualities of its terroir and each of its cuvées, the originality and rarity of Chassenay d’Arce champagnes lies in the spirit that permeates this house, which brings together 130 families and 3 generations, driven by the same rigor, the same desire to make the right choices, at the right time, for both the men and the vines.
In March 2023, Chassenay d’Arce has chosen to recruit a talented new cellar master, Romain Aubriot. The son of a winegrower from the Côte des Bar, birthplace of the brand, he spent ten years as a consultant oenologist covering all the nuances of this region close to Burgundy, whose mild climate, vineyard exposure and soil type make it unique in the world of champagne. Seduced by this promising project, he – and we – particularly appreciated the emphasis placed on Pinot Blanc, one of the keys to the Aube terroir. The clay-limestone soils of the Kimmeridgien offer this grape variety a blossoming that chalk or clay soils cannot.

So it was quite naturally with a Pinot Blanc 2014 – Extra Brut from the Caractères range, that we began our tasting lunch at the Bonhomme restaurant on rue du Faubourg Poissonnières, where the Chassenay d’Arce house had invited us. To accompany the scallops with fresh citrus and parsnip purée and chips prepared for us by chef Mathieu Charriaud, this 100% Pinot Noir was just perfect. Its notes of citrus zest and acacia flower, its frank nose and the finesse of its bubbles were in total osmosis with the dish served and its balance between freshness, acidity and smoothness.

But the Pinot Noirs from Chassenay d’Arce are also magnificent. La cuvée Confidences 2009- brut, 92% pinot noir, 5% pinot blanc and 3% chardonnay, solar. Far from the round, powerful varietal one might imagine, it possesses a distinctive freshness and light brioche that perfectly complemented the veal fillet and roasted turnip purée that accompanied it. The only regret this cuvée will leave is frustration, as it is no longer offered for sale. Further proof of originality, a Ratafia Champenois, to be marketed in 2024, accompanied the gourmet and delicate Bonhomme chocolate mousse for dessert.

Still featuring blends of predominantly Pinot Noir, the Côte des Bar’s signature grape variety, the following wines were tasted in turn:

Cuvées Essentielles: Cuvée Première (62% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot blanc, selling price incl. VAT at the cellar: 25.90 euros) and Cuvée Rosé (54% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier, 3% Pinot blanc, selling price incl. VAT at the cellar: 27.90 euros) are classics, very accessible, gourmet and fresh.

With these Cuvées Essentielles, we thought we’d listen to an extract from saxophonist Olivier Temime‘s new album, “Inner Songs” and this “Golden Lady”.

Cuvées Caractères, with a new, expressive and consensual Blanc de Blancs 2015 (100% Chardonnay, cellar price 33.40 euros).

Blanc de Noirs 2014 extra-brut (100% Pinot Noir, retail price incl. VAT at the cellar: 33.40 euros).

The confidential cuvée Confidences Rosé Brut 2015 (86% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay, 4% Pinot blanc, cellar sale price incl. VAT: 67.60 euros) is a brand-new vintage, endowed with great freshness and extreme smoothness.

Les cuvées authentiques: are 2 organic wines, which currently represent only 3% of production. Cuvée Origine (100% Pinot Noir, selling price incl. VAT ex-cellar: 32.50 euros) and Cuvée Audace 2014 (100% Pinot Noir, selling price incl. VAT ex-cellar: 42.30 euros).

To visit or book,  Restaurant Bonhomme, just here.

To order your champagnes for the festive season, It is here 

©Photos Didier Calon for Couleurs Jazz (except the Header photo)

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