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Champagne Pascal Agrapart Grand Cru EXP Blanc de Blancs 2017 (Disg. Jun 23)

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Champagne Pascal Agrapart Grand Cru EXP Blanc de Blancs 2017 (Disg. Jun 23)
Producer Champagne Agrapart
Region, Country Champagne, France
Bottle Size 750ml
Case Size 6
Product Code 23930-750

Disgorged June 2023. (Formerly known as Expérience). The price here obviously reflects, first, the demand for a cuvée that is utterly unique in the world of Champagne and, second, the rarity (there is next to one to go around). Finally, we should not forget that this is a wine style that is extremely difficult to make. 

Some background for those new to this wine. 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 sugar additions at all; no chaptalisation and no additions for the second fermentation and final dosage (liqueur de tirage and liqueur d’expédition). Not using sugar and yeast for the liqueur de tirage (to prompt the second fermentation in the bottle) is actually against the AOC laws, which is why Agrapart needed permission. So how does Agrapart achieve the bottle fermentation? Instead of sugar, he uses must (grape juice) from the same vineyards that produce the wine, thus enabling him to produce a Champagne that is solely the product of estate-grown grapes. It is also a lower-alcohol wine because the absence of sugar additions means the alcohol does not jump 1.5 degrees, as typically occurs with standard secondary fermentation. This wine rests at around 11.8% alcohol compared with 13% for the rest of the wines here. It’s also a wine that can age well; we tasted the first vintage, 2007, from magnum at the estate recently. It was in wonderful shape! 

The current release is an equal blend from vineyards that also contributed to the Avizoise and Minéral cuvées (Les Robarts in Avize and Les Bionnes in Cramant), ‘dosed’ with around 20% of the juice of 2018 from these same vineyards. It was this juice that drove the secondary fermentation in the bottle. No sugar or yeast additions were used for either fermentation, and the wine was not fined or filtered. Regardless of the methodology, this is simply a magnificent, one-of-a-kind Blanc de Blancs: complex, floral and crystalline—

without the traditional autolytic notes of a standard tirage but rather a purity and delicacy that is second to none. The finish is seriously long as well, streaked with chalk, sap and candied lemon notes. 

Champagne Pascal Agrapart Grand Cru EXP Blanc de Blancs 2017 (Disg. Jun 23)

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