Ulysse Collin, Blanc de Noir Maillons Extra Brut
The Champagnes of Ulysses Collin are among the most distinctive we are lucky enough to taste. From his cellars in Congy, located to the west of the Côte des Blancs, Olivier Collin produces serious, vinous, Champagnes of terroir. His "Les Maillons" bottling is one such wine. From 40+ year-old vines in Barbonne-Fayel in the Sézannais planted in soils of heavy clay and chalk and harvested at low yields "Les Maillons" is ripe, dense, rich, and complex.
This is a 50/50 blend of 2014 and 2013 wine, disgorged in March 2018. The beautifully textured and perfumed Blanc de Noirs comes from a site called Les Maillons in Barbonne-Fayel, near the town of Sézanne (in the Côte de Sézanne). Of Les Maillons’ 6 hectares, Collin farms 2.5 hectares and is the only grower to work the soil here. The commute by tractor takes a good two hours each way from the cellar! The Ulysse Collin parcel was originally planted with massale vines in 1971 on a slope of heavy, iron-rich clay. This is a superb Pinot terroir and can ripen the grapes to north of 12% potential alcohol easily—something very rare in Champagne. The location of the site also helps to conserve acidity and freshness thanks to its ventilated, east-facing exposure. The current release includes a significantly higher portion of reserve wine than previously, (and is all the better for it!), and was aged in three to 6-year-old barrels (including some foudres) for the first seven months of its life. Disgorged with only 2.4 grams. This a gloriously perfumed, red-fruited wine with wonderful purity and mineral energy.