Pascal Agrapart is doing next-level work in his 9.75 hectares of vineyards, spread across 62 parcels in the grand cru Champagne villages of Avize, Cramant, Oiry, and Oger. The wines and the cult status speak for themselves, but it’s worth taking the time to make the connections between his philosophy, his vineyards, and his wines.

Unlike so many of his neighbors, Pascal looks to most of his wines to be expressions of one soil type (e.g., clay, chalk, clay & chalk). Although good and worthy wines are certainly born of blending wines from different soils, Pascal’s view of Champagne goes beyond the good and towards his 35-year-old vines (on average) and his soils, free from all conventional treatments since 2013.

For Agrapart, the style of each wine should be an expression of the particularities of each parcel’s soils and subsoils. The nuances of each his wines follow the depth and vitality of his vines' root system. Given his minimalist tack in the cellar, Pascal is beautifully correct.

The porosity of different soil types directly affects drainage, water retention, even the energy required for the vines to source water. These factors will, in turn, have an effect on the start of the growing season, the rate of the technical and physiological ripening of the grapes, and the eventual qualities of the wines. By not replacing his old vines, judiciously working his vineyards, and vinifying the juice from each parcel separately, before blending according to soil type, Pascal allows these nuances of soil type to shine through in each of his cuvées.

Worthy of every bit of their ever-increasing reputation, Pascal’s wines are staggeringly good. We begin with the lush and juicy 7 Crus, a delicious exception to Pascal’s blending philosophy. Grown from grand cru Chardonnay planted in mid-slope chalk and clay soils, the Terroirs offers finely delineated aromas, counterpointed by an absolutely electric palate.

Next, we come to a racy Blanc de Blancs, from two chalky parcels in the village of Cramant, the Minéral shows the exquisite tension and fine detail of great wine. The comparatively plusher Avizoise, sourced from 50-year-old vine Chardonnay grown in clay and limestone soils in Cramant and Oiry, offers wonderfully smoky, briney, and tropical fruit tones.

Finally, Agrapart’s Venus is lifted from a chalky, 300 square meter, sloped vineyard in Avize, this is the most aromatically complex, leanest, and most age-worthy of Pascal’s wines.

We couldn’t be more excited to offer newly arrived vintages from Pascal Agrapart.

- David Salinas


Agrapart 2008 Extra Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs L'Avizoise

The clay and limestone soils of the neighboring grand cru parcels of Les Robarts and La Voie d"Epernay, in the village of Avize, were planted almost 50 years ago with Chardonnay vines that give the fruit to Agrapart's L'Avizoise. The 2008 vintage is in fine form with a brilliant golden color and a beautifully beaded mousse. Tropical aromas of pineapple and guava mingle with scents of apple crisps and smoky notes to make for a complex and dynamic nose. The palate is expansive, but detailed with aromas of grapefruit, Goldrush apple, and hyacinth before a finely pointed saline finish. Weighty and delicious! (Disgorged 4/2015).

- David Salinas

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