During my journey down to the rabbit hole to the world of Champagne, I have come across a few names that seem to excite (or repell) many professionals. Anselme Selosse is one of them, having become a world renown rebel of Champagne. You either love his wines or you really don’t see what the fuss is about (I am on the lovers side). Agrapart & Fils is a fresher name on my list, but it has the same ring to it. Combining tradition, amazing vineyards in the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant and Oiry and a disinterest in what “others” think (this is all good), Nathalie and Pascal Agrapart make a range of very interesting Champagnes coveted by many wine geeks (like myself). You might recall of trip to Terres & Vins de Champagne last May (post here)? Well the stand of Agrapart was completely packed all morning and ran out of wine after lunch. Popularity or bad planning? Who knows, but it caught the visitors interest. So when we found a few bottles from the cellars of Viking Line, I was quite excited.
The Agrapart & Fils Mineral is not a bottle you open just any Friday (so probably not movie Champagne), it is something you share with good friends who have a similar love of the French bubbly. Acquiring the bottle took some work (it’s not all a bed of roses taking one of those boat trips with Viking Line) and it was not cheap (71€), so we had the bottle stashed up for a special occasion. Having my sommelier friend and fellow champagne lover, Iisa visiting from Finland seemed like the perfect occasion (even though it was a Wednesday).
This wine is a blanc de blancs (100% Chardonnay) directly from the heartland of Chardonnay, Cotes du Blancs. The vintage of this bottle is not advertised on the front label (it is in the back), but it is from the harvest of 2008 (one of my favorite years among the more recent years). The champagne has been made with malolactic fermentation, aged 5 years on the lees and turned manually. The dosage is only 4g/l, so one can draw the conclusion that the producer has relied on the quality of the grapes. That is how I like my bubbly, dry and faithful to the grape!
When opening the bottle, you get a whiff of citrus, yeast and brioche. The nose of the wine is dry and chalky, as are the first sips. The wine is almost savory in character. As the wine warms up in the glass the fruity flavors of peach, lemon bitters and cherry emerge. There is a clear white wine character to the champagne, it reminds me of the style of Olivier Horiot (I adore Horiot). The wine is nice and complex (sweet and savory flavors combined) and the taste is long lasting.
This is an amazing wine. If I completely disregard the price, I would give this a 5. The bottle is, however, not cheap. We bought this bottle on the duty free ferry for around 71€, which I think is a fair price, but not excellent. Value for money I would say is 4. If you have a chance to snag a bottle, I say go for it!