Champagne Agrapart 7 Crus
“Serious and softly spoken, Pascal Agrapart is one of the Côte de Blancs’s finest vignerons, and I have long admired the chiseled but powerful wines he produces from his organically farmed vineyards. Old vines, ripe grapes, alcoholic and malolactic fermentation with ambient microflora and élevage of vins clairs in tank and seasoned demi-muids are the rudiments of his approach. The Brut 7 Crus, which includes 10% Pinot Noir from Avenay-val-d’Or, introduces the range, followed by the formidable Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Terroirs Grand Cru, a wine derived from the villages of Avize, Cramant, Oger and Oiry. For his next two bottlings, Agrapart blends wines from clay-rich terroirs to produce his Blanc de Blancs Avizoise, a cuvée that finds its complement in the Blanc de Blancs Minéral, derived from the domaine’s chalkiest soils. Then come single-vineyard bottlings: the extraordinary Vénus, from Avize lieu-dit La Fosse, and Complantée, from a parcel of young, co-planted vines in the same site.
“Agrapart’s NV Brut Blanc De Blancs 7 Crus E13 – named for the seven Cote des Blancs villages from which it is sourced – displays uncommon delicacy, buoyancy, tension and nuance for an ‘intro-level’ cuvee, and that uncannily combined with a sense of richness and purity to its white peach and grapefruit. Almond and pistachio cream lend allure; chalk and salt along with piquancy of peach kernel and toasted pumpkin seed impart interest, invigoration and saliva-inducement to an effusively juicy, succulent and refreshingly sustained finish. Seven grams of residual sugar, incidentally, is fairly high by estate standards but perfectly complements this wine’s forward fruit without engendering any sense of outright sweetness. This exceptional value in Champagne should remain irresistible for at least the next couple of years, and I shall be anxious to experience what happens further down the pike as I revisit the bottles I recently purchased (because older ‘intro-level’ bottles are not usually something that growers – or, for that matter, most self-styled wine collectors – can lay their hands on to pour for you.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“This blends estate-grown chardonnay from all seven villages of the Côte des Blancs into a chalky Champagne. Flavors of lemon flan and the oyster shell scent of limestone come between the bubbles, as does a refreshing edge of white grapefruit pith. It lasts on a balance of zesty and creamy notes, delicious on its own or with a range of raw shellfish.” – Wine Spectator