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JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS-Creamy and flavorful, yet it remains precise and vertical, with an array of lemons, green apples, pie crust, almonds, hazelnuts and chalk. Medium-bodied with creamy, fine bubbles. Lots of energy, with zesty citrus notes at the end. Layered blanc de blancs. 100% chardonnay from 4 Grand Cru villages. 40% from 2018 and 60% from 2017. Disgorged May 2022. Drink now or hold."


Pascal Agrapart, who has run his family's Côte de Blancs Champagne firm since 1980, has recently been joined by his oldest son Amboise who represents the fifth generation of Agraparts to produce Champagne from the family's estate. While certainly a callused "man of the earth" who enjoys long days in the vineyards, Pascal is equally versed in the technical details of the cellar and is a true master of the winemaking craft. Long over-shadowed by his dynamic Avize neighbor, Anselme Selosse, the soft spoken Agrapart has finally gained the critical acclaim and notoriety that his meticulously crafted, terroir-specific Champagnes so richly deserve. In fact, he has emerged as a leading role model for today's generation of aspiring grower-Champagne producers. Pascal and Amboise farm 30 acres of vines, which are mostly situated in the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Oiry. Their holdings are divided into 70 plots with an enviable average age of 40 years. Pascal has long been imbued with a Burgundian sensibility to make wines that reflect a sense of place. To this end he makes every effort to encourage the roots of his old vines to run deep into the mother rock to better draw out the minerality of each site. Vineyard management is painstakingly eco-friendly with chemical treatments shunned in all but the most desperate circumstances. Vineyards are ploughed to break up surface roots, aerate the soil, and encourage vital microbial life while organic fertilizers, compost, and manure are applied according to soil analyses. To ensure the utmost quality, production is kept at an artisanal scale with no more than 5,400 cases produced each year. Of course, with the firm's outsized quality and limited production, availability has become a nightmare for the domaine's growing legion of fans.
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