Champagne Agrapart – Pioneer of Terroir Expression

Pascal Agrapart has long been a trailblazer for the small grower Champagne movement that has taken a firm hold within Champagne over the last 20 years. This growing movement has seen a rapid increase in single vineyard terroir expression throughout Champagne; a rise in overall quality working with more “human-size” production levels; and a wide array of variation and individuality that has sparked a new lease of life in the region.

With the latest 2012 vintage releases from Agrapart receiving huge scores and critical acclaim, we take a closer look at this pioneer of terroir-driven Champagne and provide an overview of their different cuvees.

Unlike most small growers in Champagne, Agrapart has been bottling its own wines since the domaine was first established in 1894. Now run by the fourth consecutive generation of the Agrapart family, Pascal and Fabrice have taken this domaine to the very top echelons of fine wine production. In Revue de Vin du France, Agrapart is given a 3-star rating alongside only 7 other Champagne houses, including Krug.

Their reputation is well deserved. With a laser-like focus on quality, Agrapart produces wines from some of the oldest vines in the region and produces a maximum of just 5,400 cases each year in order to retain the highest of standards.

Agrapart owns just under ten hectares of vineyard and all their wines are made entirely from their own sites. The Champagne House is based in the village of Avize, in the heart of the Cote des Blancs, and specialises in Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) cuvees. Their vineyards consist of 60 individual parcels based around the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Cramant, Oiry and Oger.

Agrapart was one of the first Champagne Houses to pioneer single vineyard site expression. Pascal and Fabrice identified different sites that had similar terroir make-up and combined them to produce Champagne that really emphasised the expression of each type of site. Their “Mineral” cuvee originates from limestone soils, producing a very linear, taut, saline expression, whereas their “Avizoise” cuvee is derived from vineyards with more clay, producing a richer, broader, weightier style of Blanc de Blancs. Their vineyards average around 70 years of age and according to Pascal this brings unique palatability, tension, minerality and freshness to the wines.

Their top three vintage cuvees are as follows:

 

Minéral

An Extra Brut Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vintage champagne.

Always a vintage champagne, this cuvee comes from two selected vineyard blocks (Bionnes in Cramant and Champbouton in Avize) with the same geological profile. A thin layer of soil barely covering the chalk. Precise, savoury, and saline, Minéral offers us the chalky dimension of the terroir.

Disgorged 2 months before the release date and dosage limited at 3 grams of sugar per litre.

This cuvee is available in bottle and magnum.

 

Avizoise

An Extra Brut champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vintage champagne.

Always a vintage champagne, this cuvee comes from two selected vineyard blocks in Avize (Robarts, Gros Yeux) with the same geological profile. A deep layer of clay-rich topsoil before the chalk. Avizoise offers density and richness, and is at the same time gastronomic and elegant.

Bottled under cork. Disgorged 2 months before the release date and dosage limited at 3 grams of sugar per litre.

This cuvee is only available in bottle.

 

Vénus

A Brut Nature champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vintage champagne.

Always a vintage champagne, this cuvee comes from a single vineyard of 60 ares in Avize (Fosse aux Pourceaux). No heavy mechanical machines were used in the maintenance of this vineyard, which has solemnly been worked by man and by horse. Vénus is the domaine’s single vineyard emblem.

Bottled under cork. Disgorged 2 months before the release date without dosage.

This cuvee is only available in bottle.