Review- Pascal Agrapart

Pascal Agrapart

If natural champagne was a card game, Pascal Agrapart would have the best hand. Located in prime location la Côte des Blancs in Avize, he owns some of the oldest vineyards of the region (average vine age is +40 years!). Although focused on Chardonnay, Pascal Agrapart also owns vines of usual suspects Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as the lesser known Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc.

True, ideal circumstances don’t always guarantee great champagne, but in this case, they do. I had the chance to talk to Pascal back in 2020 (read the interview here) and tasted all of his champagnes in one morning (using a spit bucket, obviously). I’ve reviewed all seven below.

Now, before we move on to the tasting part, let’s first dive into the Agrapart vision and label.


Many natural champagne producers try to limit human meddling to a minimum. They believe nature should lead the way and that human intervention will only stand in the way of great flavours. Pascal Agrapart has a different view. He thinks of champagne production as a close collaboration between man and nature. “Without human intervention, champagne will ruin itself” is one of my favourite Agrapart quotes. He explained that champagne doesn’t grow on trees, and that as a producer, it’s your job to translate terroir into a product. This doesn’t mean there’s a lot of intervention going on in his production process. The human hand is the “pinch of salt” that’s needed to bring out flavours, just as chefs season their dishes. Moreover, Pascal Agrapart is the only known producer to have made a champagne with grapes as the only ingredient. Scroll down to his champagne “Expérience” to read more!

Organic label with hints of biodynamical principles

Both Pascal and his son and successor Ambroise use organic and biodynamic principles when producing their champagnes. At the same time, they’re not interested in being labeled as such. In 2020, Pascal explained: “Many champagne producers work organically or biodynamically as they believe it’s the only way to be. They don’t care about certifications, they care about soil health, harmony and quality champagne.” In tough years, father and son Agrapart don’t scare away from using chemicals in the vineyards to fight diseases. More often, they use copper, herbal teas and companion planting to work the soil. For some of his vineyards, Pascal even uses a horse to plough the soil. One of his champagnes, Vénus, is named after the first horse that worked in his vineyards.


7 crus

LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Avize, Oger, Cramant,
Oiry, Avenay Val d’or, Coligny, Vauciennes
90% Chardonnay 10% Pinot NoirFirst natural champagne
I ever tasted

7 Crus by Pascal Agrapart is a mix of two millésimes that come from seven different plots. Four of these plots are Grands Crus (Avize, Oger, Cramant and Oiry) and three plots are premiers crus (Avenay Val d’or, Coligny and Vauciennes). Don’t let these titles fool you, though. Village qualification are an indication of high quality, but they don’t take into account the way the soil is treated, nor the craft of the cellar master!

This 7 crus was actually the first natural champagne I ever drank. It’s not my favourite Agrapart, but that night in Brasserie la Banque in Épernay, it dit impress me. After all, the first sip would be the starting signal for a deep love for natural champagne, and therefore 7 crus still means a lot to me. Pascal Agrapart himself describes 7 crus as an every-day champagne, and that’s exactly what it is.


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Avize, Oger, Cramant, Oiry100%
Also available as magnumExtra brut8/10

This very expressive champagne combines two millésimes from four plots in Grands Crus in the Côte des Blancs. This makes the name “Terroirs” very appropriate. With this champagne, Agrapart gives us a taste of the best the Côte des Blancs has to offer, which is the minerality of the chalky soil, the acidity of limestone and, of course, the elegance of Chardonnay. Terroirs is just that: a dry and elegant creation that translates the story of the soil that grew its grapes.


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
AvizePretty much all of ’em!Also available as magnumExtra brut8.9/10

This is my absolute favourite Agrapart champagne . I have never experienced so many hints of cherry without the champagne being too sweet, and until this day, I scan champagne menus to see if it’s there. Apart from tasty, Complantée is also very interesting, as it combines Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and the older and lesser known Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc. They were “co-planted”, creating a colourful (and may I say fizzy) vine full of variety. Complantée has deep, complex flavours, and I found the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to be most expressive. Go and get yourself a bottle (or 3) if you can!


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Avize, Cramant100%
MillésimeExtra brut7.2/10

I kid you not: when tasting Minéral, you taste the foot of the mountain the grapes were grown. During our tasting, Agrapart explained that altitude has a huge impact on flavour, as vine roots on top of the mountain have to dig deeper before they reach water. Despite this interesting story, Minéral wouldn’t be my go-to champagne as to me personally, it does have intensity but lacks flavour. Having said that, I know many others do like it, so the only way to found out is to try it out ;-).


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
MillésimeExtra brut8/10

Agrapart bottled Avize and called it “Avizoise”. And he succeeded! Avizoise is like a perfume: it combines hints of flowers with exotic fruit and keeps on working your tastebuds. Interesting detail is that this champagne is bottled using the well-known “bouchon de liège et agrafes” (the well-known cork and muselet), whereas other producers use a crown cap in this production stage.


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
Soil is ploughed by a horse
Brut nature8/10

Vénus is named after the first horse that worked the 60 acres of Chardonnay vines that bring forth this millésime. Although called a “gimmick” and a “marketing stunt” by Pascal Agrapart himself, using a horse actually helps to create some space in the soil so that it can develop and take in all the nutrients. I like Vénus for the same reason I like Agrapart’s Avizoise: it has a perfume-like sense to it that stays with you long after the actual champagne has gone. A fine champagne with a fine story!


LocationGrape varietiesSpicy detailDosageRating
100% grape juiceBrut nature8/10

When you stick your nose in a glass of Agrapart’s Expérience, you know you’re holding something special. Pascal Agrapart produces this champagne using grape juice- and grape juice only. There’s no additives, no liqueur de tirage and no dosage. Alcohol and bubbles are the result of the natural fermentation process of the grapes, which is controlled by a tiny tiny amount of sulphites (“the pinch of salt”, according to Pascal). Until this day, Agrapart’s Expérience is the only champagne that’s being produced this way, making it the ultimate example of natural champagne. In terms of flavour, Expérience is tasty, but it doesn’t blow you away like Complantée does.