Our cuvée of the month for December comes from Champagne Agrapart et Fils of Avize. Born from 10 hectares of meticulously tended vineyards in the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Cramant, Oger and Oiry, the 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs “Terroirs Extra Brut” is an intense, syrupy and nutty wine. Full bodied and well rounded which as it name suggests is a true reflection of terroir.
Derived from two vintages, it has a mineral quality which is a result of the manner in which the vineyards are carefully worked. Nature and a natural style of farming are at the heart of this house’s ethos. With homeopathic treatments for vines, organic manure and compost and the manner in which the soil is worked ensures that the vines reach their full potential and gain the maximum goodness from the earth. Champagne Agrapart et Fils do not purport to be biodynamic but their methods are pretty close to it.
Picking is carried out as late as possible to ensure the grapes from 35-60 year old vines are as mature as possible. Vinification is in oak with malolatic fermentation encouraged. The dosage of cane sugar is 5 grams per litre. The rear label carries a date for both bottling and disgorging which is becoming more common among artisan winemakers. This is something we like and believe is important and certainly hope that more houses will follow this trend.
The bottle used for this tasting was purchased for €24 from Salvatori in Épernay in October 2011. It was bottled in May 2008 and disgorged in August 2011. Price now is approximately €25.
For enthusiasts wishing to experience terroir style cuvées, this an absolute must. Wines like this really excite us and are a great example of what can be achieved by a great Récoltant.
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