Champagne village profile: Nogent-l’Abbesse, the central village in the Monts de Berru

Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Monts de Berru
Vineyards and grape varieties: 170.8 hectares (422.1 acres), of which 99.4% Chardonnay and 0.5% Pinot Noir.
Classification: “Autre cru” (87%)

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Monts de Berru highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages in the Champagne appellation

North: Berru
Northwest: Cernay-lès-Reims
Southsouthwest: Puisieulx (in the Grande Montagne de Reims area)
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation, and therefore they have no village profiles.

The village

The town hall (mairie) in Nogent-l’Abbesse. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2012).

Nogent-l’Abbesse is located a short distance east of Reims.

The Nogent-l’Abbesse commune covers 1016 hectares and has 576 inhabitants (as of 2014), referred to as Nogentais and Nogentaises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Nogent-l’Abbesse is located to the southwest and northeast of the village, close to the forest-clad hill Mont de Berru, which also stretches into the Berru and Cernay-lès-Reims communes. The vineyards are situated on slopes which mostly face southwest to southeast. The vineyards are completely dominated by Chardonnay.

This village has the largest vineyard surface in the Monts de Berru. On the now defunct echelle des crus scale, Nogent-l’Abbesse was rated the highest (87%, so still an “autre cru”) of the five villages of the area. This is probably because Nogent-l’Abbesse covers much of the southern side of the Mont de Berru hill, as well as having some vineyard that slope a little more than what can be found in the other villages.

The current vineyard surface in the Nogent-l’Abbesse commune is 170.8 hectares (422.1 acres). There are 169.8 ha Chardonnay (99.4%), 0.9 ha Pinot Noir (0.5%), and 0.1 ha others (<0,1%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 169 ha. In 1896, before Phylloxera struck, the area was about 106 ha. There are 152 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Mont de Berru in Nogent-l’Abbesse as seen from the Fort de la Pompelle, which is found further south. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

Champagne producers

Champagne houses/négociants

The producer status NM = négociant-manipulant means that purchased grapes can be included in the Champagnes. NM producers can be anything from small producers that supplement their own grapes with some that they buy in, to large Champagne houses that primarily rely on purchased grapes. MA = marque d’acheteur = a brand used on finished bottles bought-in.

  • Jean-Claude Lenne (ND), belongs together with Lenne below.

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Bastogne-Frérot (RC, Facebook page)
  • René Beaudouin (RC, Facebook page), has only Chardonnay in their vineyards. The range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
    History
    From the 1950s until 1972, this producer (which was then called Henri Beaudoin) produced a still vin blanc de Nogent, but then changed to producing Champagne.
  • Beaudouin-Latrompette (RC, Facebook page), has about 6 ha of vineyards with mostly Chardonnay. The range includes two vintage Champagnes, the regular Millésime which is a blanc de blancs from old vines and Symphonie which is composed of 40% Chardonnay, 32% Pinot Meunier, and 28% Pinot Noir.
  • Canivet-Coutant (RC)
  • Michel Chanoir (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Coustheur Beaudouin (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Coustheur-Bonnard
  • Coutant-Chanoir
  • Dupuis-Maurois (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne. The company name is Six-Dupuis.
  • Joël Fiévet (RC)
  • Laurent Fossé (Facebook page), also written Fossé Laurent on the label.
  • Huet-Oudin (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Lenne (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne. Also see Jean-Claude Lenne above.
  • Gabriel Merreaux (RM, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs. The company name is Christine Silvestre.
  • Naudet & Fils (RC), has 3 ha of vineyards of which 90% in Nogent-l’Abbesse and 10% in Chigny-les-Roses and Rilly-la-Montagne.
  • Robert Quantinet
  • Warnet & Fils (RM, Facebook page). The vineyards has a high average age and all Champagnes are kept long in the cellars before being released. Unusually enough, the base wines are given several years of storage in steel tank (not just the reserve wines, but the entire cuvée) before being filled in bottles: three years at the entry level and up to six years on the top level, followed by a more normal time of two to three years in bottle, on the lees from the second fermentation. The total cellaring time is therefore clearly above the average for the region. Cuvée Diamant and L’excellent are both non-vintage blanc de blancs produced from the oldest vines with respectively six and five years of storage on steel tanks. L’Héritage (formerly Grande Cuvée) is a non-vintage blanc de blancs produced from the first pressed grape must, i.e., the first part of la cuvée, and with four years of storage on steel tanks.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Cooperatives

When bottles are sold directly by a cooperative the producer status is given as CM = coopérative de manipulation, as opposed to RC when sold by a cooperative member under their own name.

  • Coopérative Vinicole de Nogent-l’Abbesse et Cernay-lès-Reims is a cooperative in Nogent-l’Abbesse with 300 members with 240 ha of vineyards (as of 2013). As far as I know, this cooperative has no Champagne brand of its own.
    History
    The cooperative was founded in 1961 by 80 vineyard owners with a total of 38 ha, after the Champagne houses only bought part of the harvests in the vintages 1955-1960.

The church in Nogent-l’Abbesse. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

Video clips

Pictures from the 2014 harvest in Nogent-l’Abbesse, produced by Naudent & Fils:

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017

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