Disgorged March 2019. Complantée comes from a single parcel in Avize that Agrapart co-planted (complantée) with six varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, as well as the 'heirloom' Champagne varieties of Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. The fruit for this release is based on the 2015 harvest (with 20% reserve wine from 2014). All the fruit was hand-harvested together, co-fermented and barrel-aged before being put to bottle without filtration. The wine rested for just over two years on its lees and was dosed with less than 5 g/L. The vines are planted in the La Fosse vineyard, the same vineyard that gives us the great Vénus cuvée. The name of the specific portion of vines is La Fosse à Bull. With this wine, Pascal Agrapart is delving into the past to try to understand what the ancient varieties and the ancient practice of co-plantation can bring to the table. The wine's atypical savouriness and notes of nettle, crushed herbs and subtle spice may be unfamiliar in a Champagne context, yet the vibrant clarity and driving mineral freshness crackle across the palate and speak loudly of Avize. We'll leave the final word(s) to Peter Liem: 'While there are a number of champagnes being made from these varieties today, Agrapart's is surely one of the finest. " As the note below makes clear, this is something special. - Importer Note
Although Champagne Agrapart isn't so well known in these parts, mostly because of the paucity of wine produced, these are currently at the very top of the grower tree and get the same, coveted, three-star rating in La Revue du vin de France's Le guide des meilleurs vins de France (the highest possible rating). This is the same rating granted to Selosse, Egly and Krug and only nine Champagne estates in total. Not bad for a grower who produces less than 6000 cases in any given year. This stellar Domaine now deserves to be counted among the very finest producers in the region.
Pascal Agrapart is a grower at the top of his game. In France, he is now routinely compared to his neighbour Anselme Selosse, even though the style of wine produced by these two men is markedly different. If you were looking for a Burgundian analogy, you could think of Selosse as Lafon to Agrapart's Coche. Both in the same village, both exceptional quality, yet both growing wines that are very different. In short, Agrapart picks earlier, uses larger, older wood and bottles earlier, resulting in wines that are less influenced by oxygen. Stylistic differences aside, the quality is on a very similar level which is why La Revue du vin de France is now giving both growers the same three star rating (their highest classification, handed out to only seven Champagne producers in total). Avize has always been a special village, and today, thanks to Agrapart and Selosse, it is at the heart of the great grower movement in Champagne.
You only have to look at the range of wines we offer below to understand how special and unique this grower is. There is now the Complantée, Vieux Millésime and Expérience (a wine that is unique in Champagne), adding further depth and interest to the historical, terroir specific range of Minéral, Avizoise and Vénus (this latter is today simply one of the greatest cuvées of the region). Together, these wines represent a remarkable line-up of Avize mousseux (with a little Cramant), all grown in historically important vineyards by a grower who has few peers in his region. - Importer Note
In the heart of the Côte des Blancs, in the village of Avize, Pascal Agrapart carefully tends his vines in one of the 70 (!) micro plots that he grows. His 10 or so hectares of vines are scattered mostly throughout Avize, but with small holdings in Cramant, Oiry and Oger as well - all classified Grand Cru.
Pascal is a proud grower-producer, relying on his own natural viticulture and grapes, rather than buying in fruit from elsewhere. In this way he controls every step of the process, choosing to farm organically with no pesticides or herbicides used, and the rows ploughed by horse. The grapes are, of course, all harvested by hand. His vines are some of the oldest in the Côte des Blancs with the majority over 40 years of age and naturally low-yielding.
Originally established in 1894 by Pascal's grandfather, the estate was managed by Pascal's father from the 1950s, until 1984 when Pascal himself took over. The wines have never been better, and Agrapart was recently awarded the coveted Trois Etoiles (three stars) by La Revue du Vin de France. To put this in perspective, there are only 9 Champagne houses that hold this honour, and Pascal is among the esteemed company of houses such as Selosse, Krug, and Egly-Ouriet.
The wines of Agrapart are typified by an intensity and precision that sets them apart from some of the houses making richer, fuller styles. Pascal picks earlier, uses larger, older wood and bottles earlier, resulting in wines that are less influenced by oxygen. In the winery, Pascal vinifies using natural yeasts, emphasising the truest expression of his terroir. Dosage, which is done with a traditional liqueur d'expédition of cane sugar, varies from wine to wine, although it is usually around 3 or 4 g/L, showcasing the exceptional precision and linear focus of his Champagnes.
|Product Type||Wine Sparkling Champagne|
|Winemaking Practices||Minimal Intervention|