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Champagne Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons Extra Brut NV (2018 base)  - First Bottle

Reviews

97 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
Disgorged this year after 36 months in tirage, the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons (2018) is based on the 2018 vintage, incorporating fully 60% reserve wines from the 2017 vintage. Opening in the glass with scents of sweet mirabelle plum, honeycomb, orange oil, bee pollen and spices, it's full-bodied fleshy and seamless, with a satiny attack that segues into a vinous, enveloping mid-palate that's complemented by a fine, pillowy mousse. Concluding with a sapid, penetrating finish, 2018 was the first vintage in which Collin employed his new Coquard press, and it doesn't seem fanciful to imagine that this contributes to the notable finesse of this release.
97+ Jeb Dunnuck -
97+ Entirely Pinot Noir, The NV Champagne Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons Extra Brut is based on the 2018 vintage with 60% reserve wine contributing to the blend, and 2.4 grams per liter of dosage. It was aged for 36 months on the lees, and the aging period will be bumped up to 48 months with future releases. Historically, I have tended to favor the Les Pierrières, however in this tasting the Les Maillons took the ever-so-slight edge. It is pure and resonating with kirsch, salinity, and a lightly toasted perfume. The mousse is supple and round, with a core of energetic richness of fruit. This is drinking really well at the moment but will benefit with a little more time in cellar. Drink 2023-2043.Olivier Collin is based in Coteaux du Petit Morin, in the village of Congy. In the 1930s, his grandfather was the first récoltant-manipulant in the region, bottling only from his own vineyards and not selling any grapes to négociants. Olivier’s father sold the company in 1987, and in March of 2003, Olivier and his family made the decision to reclaim a portion of the vineyards and to begin making wine. At that time, the health of the soils had deteriorated, so his first work was to purchase a tractor in order to improve the soil’s health, and he was able to produce his first vintage in 2004. He likes to work as naturally as possible, though he prefers to be free of the constraints of any organization for organic or biodynamic certifications. In the vineyard, he looks for high maturity of the grapes without being overripe. He strives to work in a balanced way, with natural yeasts, natural malolactic fermentations, low intervention, and sulfur addition only at the pressing prior to fermentation. The goal is to produce the best base wine possible, with a focus on gastronomic importance. In the winery, he ferments entirely in barrels, the majority of which are used. There are small levels of dosage added that will vary from vintage to vintage, ranging between 0.85 grams to 4 grams per liter, depending on what the wine needs. Recent developments include increasing the aging on lees, and readers can expect to see this continue with additional cuvées in the years to come. (Drink between 2023-2043)

Technical Details

  • WinemakerOlivier Collin
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • Sub-RegionCôte des Blancs
  • AppellationCôte de Sézanne
  • VineyardLes Maillons
  • Farming MethodSustainable Practices
  • Aging/Cooperage36 Months on the Lees

Champagne Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons Extra Brut NV (2018 base)

Pinot Noir  |  France
WA97, VN93

Sustainable Practices
42% off retail!
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Ulysse Collin! If you know just one grower in the entire Coteaux du Petit Morin region in the south of Champagne – this is the one! Olivier Collin has almost single-handedly put this region on the proverbial map – a story of history, perseverance, downright stubbornness, and yes, eventual triumph that is worthy of Hollywood. These wines are increasingly rare, and ever more expensive every single year – but for those that experience them...worth every single penny! We scored three recent disgorgements of his heralded Blanc de Noirs – from the vineyard of Les Maillons – each with 97 POINT scores from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. Champagne doesn’t get much more collectible than this, or more delectable – in my opinion. These are incredibly limited, so if interested (who wouldn’t be?!), grab these fine specimens as quickly as you can!

Fun Fact: Ulysse Collin is the ONLY estate in Champagne to release exclusively single vineyard expressions of their wines: Les Pierrièrres, Les Maillons, Les Roises, and Les Enfers. Les Maillons is a 2.5 hectare parcel owner by Olivier Collin, where pinot noir was planted on iron-rich clay soils back in 1971. Old school in most every way, yet never holding to tradition merely for tradition’s sake, Olivier is a pioneer that is as passionate as they come when it comes to his vines and his way of crafting world-class Champagne.

This really is such a fascinating story of an iconic producer – though far too long for telling here. Check out his producer page on the Louis Dressner site for more information...quite the spectacular read! Do this after you secure a few of these fine bottles, of course, a quick bit on each and off you go! The wines are all aged on the lees for three years, and are noted here by the base of the non-vintage blend (usually 40-60%, followed by reserve wines.)

About the Producer

Ulysse Collin is a highly regarded Champagne producer based in the village of Congy, in the Côte des Blancs region of Champagne, France. The estate was founded by Olivier Collin, who took over the family vineyards and started producing Champagne under the Ulysse Collin label in the early 2000s. Ulysse Collin is known for its commitment to organic and biodynamic farming practices, meticulous vineyard management, and a focus on expressing the terroir of their vineyards. The estate gained recognition for its limited-production, single-vineyard Champagnes made primarily from Chardonnay grapes. The wines are often characterized by their purity, precision, and unique expression of the Côte des Blancs terroir.