Agrapart et Fils - 7 Crus Brut Champagne NV
90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
From the importer-
"Les 7 Crus" which is a mix of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from 1er and Grand Cru vineyards (from seven villages surrounding Avize). A superb non-vintage bottling that beautifully synthesizes the pure and opulent fruit of top quality chardonnay vineyards in the Côte de Blancs with a racy, structured minerality that gives the wine superb length and cut. It is delicious out of the blocks, but really will easily keep ten to fifteen years.
The Champagne house of Agrapart et Fils is located in the lovely village of Avize in the heart of the Côte de Blancs. The estate was established in 1894, yet unlike many of the smaller grower Champagne houses that have really only recently begun to estate bottle their wines and sell them under their own labels, the Agrapart family has done so since the inception of the domaine. The winery was founded by Arthur Agrapart, and today is run by the fourth generation of the family. The two Agrapart brothers, Pascal and Fabrice, continue to maintain the same commitment to excellence and hand-crafted wines that has earned this fine domaine its loyal customer base in France. The Agraparts own nine and a half hectares of predominantly chardonnay vineyards, the vast majority Grand Cru, in the heart of the Côte de Blancs (primarily in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant and Oiry).
To ensure the highest possible quality, production has always been kept at an artisanal level at Champagne Agrapart, with quantities of no more than 5,400 cases produced in any given year. Vine age is amongst the oldest in the Côte de Blancs, with many of the Agrapart’s vineyards in excess of sixty years of age, and the average overall age of the vines a healthy thirty-five years of age. The estate has also farmed organically for years, but has never really publicized it. For Pascal, this is merely the right way to farm for quality, not some marketing fad to promote your wines. From these fine old chardonnay vineyards the Agrapart’s produce some of the most refined and complex wines to be found from the Côte de Blancs.
To really understand Champagne Agrapart, it is important to understand the quiet force behind this esteemed property, Pascal Agrapart. Pascal looks a bit like the actor Russel Crowe (perhaps a slightly older version), yet his demeanor is the furthest thing from a famous person. He is tall, humble and soft-spoken, but also fiercely talented and wise in the ways of a vigneron. While certainly a "man of the earth" who enjoys spending time in the vineyards, Pascal is equally versed in the technical details of the cellar which in crafting Champagne is itself an art. And while Agrapart's wines always had a somewhat underground following, in recent years, he has gained an international reputation, and has had to learn to maneuver in the limelight, quietly and humbly, of course. Today, he is looked up to and revered by some of the region's rising stars as sort of a professor emeritus of the region who blazed the trail of quality, setting the stage for Champagne's cutting edge scene on the international wine market.