Disgorged August 2020. 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 vines are all in the Fosse vineyard, the same site that gives us the great Vénus cuvée (the name of the specific part of the vineyard where these vines are situated 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 traditional practice of co-plantation can bring to the table.
The fruit for this release is based on the 2017 harvest, with 20% reserve wine from 2016. 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 five grams per litre.
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 also makes clear, this is something special. - 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|