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Producer: Domaine Agrapart & Fils, Avize
Region: Champagne
Wine: Expérience 07
The newest addition to the Agrapart portfolio is Expérience, a vintage-dated blanc de blancs blended from portions of both L'Avizoise and Minéral. Since 2002, Agrapart has been experimenting with making wine from "100-percent grapes", as he puts it: no chaptalization, no dosage and no fining or filtering, with all indigenous yeasts for both the first and second fermentations. To achieve this in the second fermentation, Agrapart bottles the wine during the following harvest, using a liqueur de tirage of unfermented must that still contains all of its natural yeasts. "The CIVC wasn't too keen on this," he says, "nor were the customs agents. But the INAO thought it was a good idea, so I'm authorized to do it." It's taken him several years to get the formula right: I found some of the initial efforts to be a little rustic and oxidative, but the first commercial release, from 2007, is markedly finer and purer in tone, and it's fascinating to compare it with Agrapart's other wines.

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