Denis Chaput

L’Ombre d’Armand Reserve Brut NV

Region: France - Champagne

Denis Chaput

It is difficult to say how long there have been vines in the village of Arrentières in the Côte des Bar, but certainly they  were being grown in the 13th century.  In the mid twelfth century, a Templar base was established in Arenthieres. In 1312, under pressure from King Philip IV, Pope Clement V dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar, and inventoried their properties. The Templars owned vines in Arrentières, which “produce 35 muids in a good year” (a muid is a large barrel). Since that time wine has always been produced…subject of course to the conflicts and turmoil that inevitably occur in the course of history!

Passionate about the history of Arrentières, the Chaput brothers Nicolas and Xavier, along with their father Denis and mother Jacquline, have preserved the Templar legacy by renovating the last vestiges of a Templar commandery established there between the 12th and 14th centuries. To experience their Champagnes in their tasting cellar and tower is truly to walk through history.

Grapes / Soils

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area ha or acres
L’Ombre d’Armand – cuvée Réserve 75 % Pinot Noir / 25 % Chardonnay Average age : 24 years in 2008 Kimmeridgien clay-chalk

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Subsoil: Kimmeridgian clay-chalk
  • Vines planted: average in 1976
  • Planting density: 7500 vines/hectare
  • Pruning methods: Chablis and Cordon de Royat
  • Grass cover in all rows to foster micro-organisms, control yield and limit erosion
  • Soil worked mechanically with vine hoes
  • Harvesting and debudding by hand
Harvest Notes
  •  Plot by plot vinification in small stainless steel, thermo regulated vates
  • Use of natural concrete egg-shaped vat
  • Wines undergo malolactic fermentation
Winemaker's Notes

The name means “the shadow of Armand,” Nicolas and Xavier’s great grandfather, and the man who made the first Champagne Chaput in the 1930s. They are following his path. This cuvee is the oldest they produce and is in his honor.

Golden yellow color with glints of light yellow straw. Fine bubbles with a persistent cordon. Bright appearance. The nose has almond, honeysuckle, red apple, Mirabelle plum, iodine sea spray, quince paste, buttercups, chanterelles, acacia honey, white peach, brioche, butter, and mocha. On the palate, the attack is clean and fresh, with a soft, creamy effervescence. Luscious, fruity, well-coated substance, backed up by a lemony, black fruit acidity. The mid-palate develops a marly minerality that gives volume to the fruit, and a broad texture on the palate with a hint of salinity. Overall, a delicious, fresh champagne that is further enhanced by its creamy texture.  Rich, concentrated, very flavourful finish.

Pair with fillet of sea bass with butter sauce, chanterelles and Scotch bonnet mushrooms; chicken ravioli with sesame oil and coconut milk.

Wine Summary

75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay grapes; Kimmeridgian clay-chalk soils; average vine age 23 years in 2009; 35% from 2009 harvest, 45% from 2008, 20% reserve wines from 2002 -2007; fermented in small stainless steel, thermo regulated vats; malolactic fermentation; 12% alcohol; dosage 6.5 g/L; bottled in 2010; TERRA VITUS certified.

Technical Information
  • 75% Pinot Noir, 25 % Chardonnay
  • 35% wines from 2009 harvest
  • 45% wines from 2008 harvest
  • 20% reserve wines from harvests between 2002 – 2007
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Dosage: 6.5 g/L
  • Bottled: May 2010
  • Certified TERRA VITUS

General Info

Country France
Region Champagne
Appellation(s) Côte des Bar
Proprietors Xavier and Nicolas Chaput
Founded 1930
Winemaker Nicolas Chaput
Annual Production 1800 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable – Terra Vitus certified