Ulysse Collin

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One of the newest stars in the Champagne firmament is Olivier Collin, in the village of Congy in the Sézannais, south of the Côte des Blancs. A gregarious and inquisitive winegrower, Collin gives credit to Anselme Selosse for inspiring him to become a Champenois vigneron. He describes his stage with Selosse in 2001 as “one of those encounters that changes your life,” and it prompted him to take back a portion of his family’s vines that had been rented to Pommery, allowing him to make his own wines.

Sites are not blended and each cuvée is parcel specific. Today, Olivier produces four wines from four sites: Les Maillons, Les Pierrières, Les Roises and Les Enfers. And while vintage and reserve wine is important to the final product, this is not what Oliver is seeking to accomplish with his Champagnes.

"Winemaking as a rule here is as natural and non-interventionist as possible. All fermentation is carried out with indigenous yeasts, which can take a remarkably long time to complete: six to eight months is not at all unusual for Collin, and even when tasting vins clairs in June or July, they are typically still in the middle of their alcoholic fermentations. Both the fermentation and malolactic are carried out in three- to six-year old barriques, and the wine is neither fined nor filtered before bottling, which takes place in the fall after the harvest." – Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net