Disgorged February 2017. Avizoise is sourced from vines up to 60 years old in the clay-rich (argilo-calcaire) coteaux d’Avize vineyards of Les Robarts and La Voie d’Epernay (on the Cramant border). The richer soils in these two adjacent sites typically give a deeper, more powerful and textured expression of Avize than the Minéral. Again the 2010 does not disappoint although it is far more tightly wound for now. Super complex with floral and mixed citrus fruit leading to a long, pith and chalk scented close. The wine is aged entirely in 600 litre demi-muid, and the fermentation in bottle is carried out under cork rather than crown seal. Dosage is 5g/l and the 2010 spent a minimum of 60 months on lees. The potential here is enourmous.
“As always, this comes from the Avize vineyards of Les Robarts and La Voie d’Epernay, which are relatively heavy in clay compared to Agrapart’s other parcels. This results in an ample, full-bodied blanc de blancs, although it isn’t heavy in the least, feeling focused and kinetic on the palate. While it already shows a subtle complexity, it needs another decade in the cellar to reveal its full array of flavors, and its balance, length and mineral expression on the finish all suggest that it will enjoy a superb development.” Peter Liem, www.champagneguide.net
The 2010 season was the kind that we would call “a vintage for the grower” if we were talking about Burgundy. In Champagne this has a double meaning so in this latter region it would be better to call it a “great grower’s vintage”. In short, those vignerons who control their own vineyards and who work these vineyards in the right way, who keep their yields at reasonable levels and who pick their fruit only when fully ripe, made outstanding wines. Such producers sadly remain a relative rarity in Champagne yet Pascal Agrapart is clearly one and he has had a great success in 2010. The ’10 Minéral is just that, salivating and saline with zesty drive and penetrating length. The tightly wound, but perfumed Avizoise reminds me of the sublime 2007, while the critic Peter Liem, arguably the leading writer on Champagne today, has written of the pure, lacy Venus that, “I’m not sure that there’s a better 2010 in all of Champagne than this one”. This year Agrapart’s aged release Millésime (now called) Millésime Collection, comes from 2006, a vintage was a blinder chez Agrapart. Below we also offer the latest releases of the limited, entry level wines Les 7 Crus and Terroirs as well as the ultra-rare Complantée cuvée. All the wines below were disgorged to order in February of this year. Speaking of disgorgements, this information now appears on the wines’ back labels.
There is no hiding from the fact that prices have risen at this Domaine in recent years, a fact that simply reflects the quality, work standards and skyrocketing demand. What we can say definitively is that the viticultural and winemaking standards on offer from this producer (to say nothing of the quality in the bottle), puts these wines at the very top of their genre and, in our opinion, far ahead of the prestige cuvées of the large houses. They are obviously far rarer as well. The pricing of the wines of Pascal Agrapart needs to be viewed in this context and in the context of great European wines in general. We have tine quantities of the top wines.
Before we move onto the wines, here are some key facts regarding the Agrapart Estate: