Disgorged June 2022. This is a very special wine from a very special plot of dirt. It comes from one-third of a hectare of vines in the renowned Avize vineyard plot called La Fosse aux Pourceaux. This 0.3-hectare section of La Fosse lies on the chalkiest portion of the slope near the village (contrasting with the more clay-rich soils of the Avizoise cuvée). The vines were planted in 1959 and so are extremely old by Champagne standards. This single parcel cuvée is therefore made in only tiny quantities each year. The wine is named after the Boulonnais mare, Vénus, that first ploughed the vineyard.
Yes, the Avizoise is one of the benchmark wines of the Côte des Blancs, and yet Vénus somehow takes everything to yet another level. It’s even deeper and retains plenty of finesse and mineral intensity to go with the wine’s pillowy layers of texture and serious complexity. It’s an intense wine that demands food and is worth decanting when young. It will also benefit from two or three years further aging (at least). Treat it like a great white wine, served at the table with proper wine glasses (we recommend a Burgundy shape) and you will be greatly rewarded. This cuvée is bottled without dosage.
“From old vines in lieu-dit La Fosse that are planted at somewhat lower density (1.2 meters apart) but where there are consequently very few missing vines or replants, Agrapart's striking 2016 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vénus unwinds in the glass with scents of citrus oil, crisp stone fruit, toasted almonds, warm biscuits, orange zest and iodine. Full-bodied, concentrated and tightly wound, with terrific depth at the core, racy acids and a long, intensely saline finish, it's another brilliant wine from this benchmark grower-bottler.” 98 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
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|