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Agrapart Grand Cru Expérience Brut Blanc de Blancs
Disgorged March 2018. The price here obviously reflects, firstly, the demand for this cuvée—it is a wine that is totally unique in the world of Champagne and there is next to none to go around—and, secondly, that this is a wine style that is extremely difficult to make. Agrapart has made several small releases of the cuvée as he wants to understand how the wine matures. Some background - in 2002 Agrapart sought and (remarkably) received permission from the local authorities to begin experimenting with a small quantity of wine that he wanted to produce without any additions at all, including no dosage additions of liqueur de tirage or liqueur d’expédition. That is to say, no sugar was to be added at all, even for the second fermentation. Not using sugar and yeast for the liqueur de tirage is against the law as they are set out for the AOC of Champagne, which is why Agrapart needed to request permission. Agrapart uses natural must (grape juice) from his own vineyards (in fact from the same vineyards that the rest of the wine comes from) for the tirage, thus enabling him to produce a Champagne that is solely the product of grapes. No one knows how Agrapart managed to get this permission and he just smiles when he is pressed on this question. He is clearly a man of significant charm and persuasive powers! And he clearly commands the respect of the regional authorities. The resulting Champagne, the one that we now offer, is the result of the five years of trial and error. It is the third release of Expérience—after 2007 and 2009— and it is an equal blend of components that went into the Avizoise and Minéral cuvées (Les Robards in Avize and Les Bionnes in Cramant), “dosed” with the juice of 2013 (20%) from the same vineyards. It was this juice that drove the secondary fermentation in the bottle. As explained already, no sugar or yeast additions were used for either fermentation, and the wine was not fined or filtered. As we have not tasted this yet, we’ll leave the descriptions to Peter Liem.
“It’s juicy and grapey, with delicate flavors of pear, kiwi and sweet herbs, and its prominent acidity makes it feel slightly stern and forceful. At the same time it’s noticeably finer in texture than previous editions that Agrapart has made (even if it remains rustic in comparison to his other champagnes), and it’s fascinating to drink.” Peter Liem, champagneguide.net
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