Champagne Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (Base 16. Disg. March 2020)
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Collin’s vineyards are ploughed and yields are strictly controlled when required (Mother Nature did this work for him in 2012). Grass is allowed to grow naturally during the winter, and Collin ploughs at appropriate moments throughout the growing season. No herbicides or pesticides are used. The grapes are pressed in a traditional 1950s Coquard press, and the juice is vinified in a growing coterie of large-format barrels and foudre, with no added yeasts (or anything else). After ten months élevage in barrel the wines are neither fined nor filtered before bottling in July. Collin disgorges after a minimum 24 months on lees with a tiny 1-3 grams dosage. These are some of the most original and satisfying terroir wines emanating from Champagne.
Of Les Maillons' six hectres, Collin farms 2.5, 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. Despite the power, the location of the site also helps to conserve acidity and freshness thanks to its ventilated, east-facing exposure.