Agrapart Venus Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Nature 2013
100% Chardonnay. The Champagne house of Agrapart et Fils is located in the celebrated village of Avize in the heart of the Côte de Blancs. The estate was established in 1894, yet unlike many of the smaller grower Champagne houses that have only begun to estate bottle under their own labels in recent decades, the Agrapart family has done so since the inception of the domaine. Pascal Agrapart, who shares ownership with his brother Fabrice, is the quiet force behind this esteemed property. While Agrapart wines have long had somewhat of an underground following, in recent years, Pascal has gained an international reputation and today he is looked up to and revered by some of the region's rising stars as sort of a professor emeritus of the region, who blazed the trail of quality and helped to set the stage for Champagne's cutting edge revolution. Amboise Agrapart, Pascal's oldest son, recently joined his father at the domaine. Together they manage nine and a half hectares of predominantly Chardonnay vineyards, the vast majority of which are Grand Cru, in the heart of the Côte de Blancs. To ensure the highest possible quality, production has always been kept at an artisanal level, with quantities of no more than 5,400 cases produced in any given year. Vine age is among the oldest in the Côte de Blancs, with many of the Agrapart’s vineyards in excess of seventy years of age. Pascal then makes three vintage-dated Parcellaires cuvées from what he considers the three main terroirs of Avize: up-slope, downslope, and the middle or “crux” of the two. Pascal explains that the entire village of Avize is dominated by a subsoil of chalky limestone, and this ‘mother rock’ is covered with varying amounts of clay. Coming from their best parcel in Avize, Venus is the pinnacle for Agrapart. Silky in texture yet racy and knife-like in structure, this is a magical bottle of champagne.