We recently enjoyed a bottle of non-vintage Chassenay D’Arce Montaubret Brut Champagne, produced by a cooperative of about 130 grape growers in the Arce Valley located in the southern part of the Champagne region of France. Over 75% of the Champagne produced today is non-vintage (N.V.), that is, made by blending wine from several years’ harvests, to keep the style and taste consistent from year to year. This wine is made in Chassenay Castle, which has stood in the Côte des Bars region since the 11th century, an area often recognized for producing the very best Pinot Noir grapes due to its warmer southern climate. Produced from 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay grapes, the Montaubret Brut is aged for 3 years prior to its release, including two years on the lees to give it more body and flavor, and it had a level of complexity generally found only in more expensive cuvees. The Chassenay cooperative also sells some of its grapes to the more famous Champagne producer Veuve Clicquot, so there are considerable similarities to the style of that more expensive brand. This was a dry, spicy Champagne, with flavors of peach and apricot, plenty of tiny delicate bubbles and a long finish with some pleasant minerality.