Vintage Champagne from a small (brother and sister) producer, with serious clarity of flavour and finesse.
"The A R Lenoble 2008 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Chouilly Brut Millésime displays a beautifully intense and golden shining citrus color. This has amazing richness and gentleness on the nose but, at the same time, delicacy, precision and finesse! This bouquet is perfectly ripe and generous but also fine and fresh, representing the chalky soils and warm microclimate of Chouilly as well as perfectly ripe and healthy fruit. Any 2008 austerity here? Negative! The attack on the palate is as fine and fresh as it is pure, piquant and aromatic. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors such as pineapples, lemons and limoncello intermix with a round and creamy but by no means bold or heavy texture that is actually marked by chalk powder and iodine flavors on the finish. In fact, this 2008 Chouilly is delicate and filigreed as well as firmly structured. To me, it is an icon wine for Chouilly, and I highly recommend it, even if only to understand the highly diverse terroirs of Champagne, even in the Côte des Blancs where Chouilly is the most northern village next to Cuis. A small part (10%) of the wine was aged in oak. The finish of the 2008 is fresh and light but also intense and persistent. This is a great vin de terroir, and to be honest, I couldn't stop drinking it!"
94 points, Wine Advocate (April 2018)
"An impressive wine for the power and purity of fruit. Extremely assertive peach and lemon citrus aromas and flavors. The palate has a driving acid cut. Still very youthful, this can easily age for five or more years."
92 points, jamessuckling.com (October 2017)
"100% Chardonnay from 100% Chouilly Grand Cru. 10% barrel fermented. Dosage 3 g/l.
Deep straw. Very serious and deep-flavoured on the nose. Massive concentration. Real density in the mouth and bone dry on the end. Very much the vintage rather than the house. Decidedly uncompromising but very long and intense. Low-key mousse. A tincture rather than a champagne?!"
17 points, jancisrobinson.com (June 2019)
"Light but assured nose with some notable autolysis and interest. Bone dry and a seriously interesting aperitif style. Really appetising. Neat finish. Pretty youthful."
17+ points, jancisrobinson.com (March 2017)
"100% Chardonnay, 100% Chouilly grand cru. 10% oak fermented. Dosage 4 g/l.
Tense and dense on the nose. Great density and edginess. Nothing austere about this; lots to enjoy. Quite serious."
17 points, jancisrobinson.com (June 2016)
"Meyer lemon and smoke notes are layered with flavors of glazed nectarine, almond skin and biscuit in this racy Champagne. Chalky and sleek, with a subtle finish."
91 points, Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (November 2016)
"This is a fine wine from a great vintage. Still young, it is already showing great swathes of apple and tight citrus fruit cut with lemon zest. It has a crisp character, packed with acidity that will soften while always there. Drink this wine from 2018."
93 points, Wine Enthusiast (January 2015)
"Lovely evolution on the nose, with rich tertiary mushroom and honeyed characters. Seductive, with acidity holding up well. Fine and fresh mousse- very classy."
93 points, Susie Barrie MW, Decanter (June 2019)
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.