Champagne Agrapart: L'Avizoise, Venus, Mineral, Complantee

Posted by Joe Salamone

Supreme Elegance, Mineral Rigor
Complantée Extra Brut Grand Cru NV
2007 Mineral Grand Cru
2007 L'Avizoise Extra-Brut Grand Cru
2007 Venus Brut Nature Grand Cru

"Marked by a vivid, intense expression of terroir" -Peter Liem

The Champagnes of Agrapart represent some of the most captivating and soil inflected examples of the Côte des Blancs.

They are some of the most refined, tensely mineral and simply impressive Champagnes around.

I'm happy to offer four of Agrapart's recent releases that represent the top of the extremely impressive range.

We might as well begin with the outlier, the Complantée. This is the only wine on offer that's not 100% Chardonnay. It's a far reaching cuvée that includes Champagne's three major grapes along with heirloom varieties like Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. It's a field blend that's co-harvested and co-fermented. Most importantly, this is planted in a top terroir, a place where you rarely encounter Arbanne or any of the other heirloom varietals. The vineyard is La Fosse in Avize - the same vineyard as Venus, their top cuvée. The pedigree really shows itself in the chalky fineness that combines with the layers of complex fruits, minerals and herbs.

Next we'll move on to the first of the Chardonnay cuvées--Mineral. It's definitely a wine that lives up to its name. It's sourced from two very hard chalky parcels, one in Avize and one in Cramant. The 2007 Mineral offers up a beautifully pointed and detailed chalky impression with floral and stone fruit notes. There's a sleek and classy feel to the whole package.

The '07 L'Avizoise shows off the clay limestone soils of Avize. It's a more expansive showing of Chardonnay boasting a fascinating textural depth of soil tones that mingle in perfect harmony with subtle shavings of spice, sweet herbs and stone fruits. For all of its breadth, L'Avizoise remains agile with an incisive core.

Finally, there's Venus, their top cuvée. Compared to L'Avizoise, Venus comes from a single vineyard on Avize's chalky soils. The headliner is how Venus combines with an insane mineral precision with a deep, deep complexity. This is the height of Agrapart's complicated mineral intrigue and beautiful finesse.

Agrapart made some of the most impressive 2007 Champagnes we've tasted. They have the bright, ripe citrus quality of the vintage and yet maintain a surprising amount of mineral rigor. Chardonnay was the most successful varietal of the vintage and Agrapart's wines serve as monuments.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

Peter Liem: "A blend of two parcels of 40-year-old vines—Le Champ Bouton in Avize and Bionnes in Cramant—this is sleek and precise, anchored by a firm spine of both acidity and chalky minerality. Its ripe flavors of pear and citrus feel incisive and graceful, demonstrating a subtle elegance and refinement, and while it’s already alluring as it is, it promises to gain further complexity and depth with additional time in the cellar."

Peter Liem: "This feels broad, open and inviting, demonstrating the substance and generosity of Avize’s clay slopes. Despite its richness of texture and its ample flavors, it doesn’t appear at all excessive in weight, its incisive acidity holding the rest of the components in perfect tension. It’s vibrant, complex and complete, and it’s highly expressive of place."

Peter Liem: "Agrapart produced excellent wines in 2007, and as usual, the Cuvée Vénus is the crown jewel of the collection. Made entirely from a horse-plowed parcel in the Avize vineyard of La Fosse, this is savory and intensely chalk-driven, deemphasizing fruit in favor of a pure transmission of soil character. It’s sleek and racy, complemented by a silky, elegant texture, and it unfolds with remarkable complexity and grace on the palate, feeling vivid, precise and vibrant. The saline notes of iodine and oyster shell persist with outstanding length, adding to the impression of refinement and finesse."