Ulysse Collin Les Maillons Blanc de Noirs NV


Disgorged in March 2021, the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons (2017) is based on the 2017 vintage and complemented by fully 70% reserve wines from the 2016 vintage. Bursting with aromas of mirabelle plum, crisp orchard fruit, fresh bread, vanilla pod and clear honey, it’s full-bodied, vinous and enveloping, with a lavish core of fruit, bright acids and an enlivening pinpoint mousse. Concentrated and precise, Collin notes that he disgorges this cuvée with slightly higher levels of sulfites than its blanc de blancs counterparts to compensate for the inherent fragility of Pinot Noir. 97 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

The current release is based on 2017 with 65% (!) reserve wine from 2016. This is already a great, great Champagne—a beautifully textured and perfumed Blanc de Noirs that comes from a site in Barbonne-Fayel in the Côte de Sézanne. Les Maillons is six hectares of iron-rich clay, of which Collin farms almost half (he is the only grower to work the soil in this site). The Ulysse-Collin parcel was originally planted with massale vines in 1971. The commute by tractor takes a good two hours from the cellar in Congy, but the wine is worth it! As mentioned above, it’s a superb Pinot terroir and can ripen the grapes 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.

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