W&S -Â This blends estate-grown chardonnay from all seven villages of the CÃ´te des Blancs into a chalky Champagne. Flavors of lemon flan and the oyster shell scent of limestone come between the bubbles, as does a refreshing edge of white grapefruit pith. It lasts on a balance of zesty and creamy notes, delicious on its own or with a range of raw shellfish.Â
92 RP -Â Based half-each on vintages 2010 and 2009, and with 10% Pinot Noir 'smuggled in,' Agrapartâ€™s NV Brut Blanc De Blancs 7 Crus E13 â€“ named for the seven Cote des Blancs villages from which it is sourced, and in this instance disgorged in May, 2013 â€“ displays uncommon delicacy, buoyancy, tension and nuance for an 'intro-level' cuvee, and that uncannily combined with a sense of richness and purity to its white peach and grapefruit. Almond and pistachio cream lend allure; chalk and salt along with piquancy of peach kernel and toasted pumpkin seed impart interest, invigoration and saliva-inducement to an effusively juicy, succulent and refreshingly sustained finish. Seven grams of residual sugar, incidentally, is fairly high by estate standards but perfectly complements this wineâ€™s forward fruit without engendering any sense of outright sweetness. This exceptional value in Champagne should remain irresistible for at least the next couple of years, and I shall be anxious to experience what happens further down the pike as I revisit the bottles I recently purchased (because older 'intro-level' bottles are not usually something that growers â€“ or, for that matter, most self-styled wine collectors â€“ can lay their hands on to pour for you).