• Le déGrafeur, by Claude Giraud of Champagne Henri Giraud

    Prior to the invention of the crown capsule, champagne bottles were stoppered with cork for their second fermentations, and these corks were held in place by a device called the agrafe, or staple (it looks like a big staple, as you can see from the photo below). Some producers continue to age their champagnes on cork today, and these bottles are agrafé, as one says in French. The agrafe is removed at disgorgement and typically replaced with a cork and wire cage. However, it sometimes appears on commercialized bottles of Coteaux Champenois, and more rarely on finished champagnes.

    Claude Giraud of Henri Giraud has released his Cuvée Fût de Chêne under cork and agrafe since the mid-1990s, and today his vintage-dated
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