Inspired by Selosse and Old-Vine Pinot Noir: Collin Blanc de Noirs

Posted by CrushWine

Sparkling Originality
2006 Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noirs
A Terroir-Driven Blanc de Noir Debut at Over 30% Off
Lowest Price in the Nation

"For readers seeking to discover the outer boundaries of what Champagne is and can be, Collin's Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs is required drinking." - Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate

Inspired by his mentor Anselme Selosse, inspired by old-vine Pinot Noir, by extreme ripeness, slow fermentations and natural yeasts, Olivier Collin is pushing the limits of Champagne. The results have been met with remarkable acclaim - Galloni's quote above is a short testament to the impact the wines have already made (complete tasting note below).

This is a provocative, intricate, complex Champagne, well worth the $70 tariff it normally commands. Today, at as low as $49.95 it is a do-not-miss Champagne experience - and with just over 400 cases made, best to act quickly. Our single parcel at this price will sell out quickly.

Terroir and individuality has not traditionally been the focus of Champagne in general. Frankly, the challenge of consistency in a cruel northern environment has been the formidable goal.

Things, however, are changing in Champagne. Today's offering, the first vintage of the Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noir, is "required drinking" for this new, daring chapter in Champagne.

The first thing you will notice is the color. One-hundred percent Pinot Noir, this is a dark Champagne, with an almost orange, rose-colored center. It is a brooding wine, dense with macerated cherries and ripe plums along with notes of earth and a bread-dough yeastiness.

On the palate this Champagne is uncommonly powerful (the connections with Selosse are apparent) - it is concentrated but laced with a chalky minerality and nuanced red fruit, almost hedonistic with its heft and refined fizz. With air the wine's nose continues to open up and evolve, the flavors become more detailed and richer, a Burgundy-like experience that deserves a proper Burgundy glass, not a flute.

Please note: This is not a wedding-hall reception Champagne - it is a formidable wine of considerable complexity and richness. This is a Champagne to be approached with knife and fork in hand, at the table weighed down with food. (Ever pair Champagne with dry-aged steak?)

The history of the Collin estate is worth noting. Olivier's time with Selosse, to put it mildly, inspired him. The family had previously sold all their grapes to the negociant Pommery through long-term leases. As these contracts began to expire in 2003, Olivier jumped at the chance to keep the fruit for himself.

This journey eventually led him to make a Blanc de Noir from the Les Maillon vineyard in the village of Barbonne-Fayel. Planted in 1971, the vineyard is made up of chalk and heavy clay. Keeping the yields low, Collin allows the grapes to ripen to extreme levels by Champagne standards. Extended hang-times allowed the old-vine Pinot Noir grapes to attain an extreme complexity, a density of extracted fruit that is rarely seen in any Champagne. In this wine the depth is here, yet balanced by a playful, perky acidity. Using only native yeasts for natural fermentation (which took an amazing six months) and adding only eye-dropper dosage, there is simply nothing to cloud or cover or obscure the purity of the terroir.

Blanc de Noir is a celebrated, curious category of Champagne. Rarer then Blanc de Blancs Champagne (100% Chardonnay), the great and singular Blanc de Noir Champagnes most often climb toward and beyond the $100-mark. Today's parcel is a rare score; not only is this a truly unique Blanc de Noir produced by one of the most exciting new producers in Champagne, it is priced so well that you can actually stock up on it for consumption over the years. 

Only around 5,000 bottles of this wine were produced (just over 400 cases); at $50 a bottle we do not expect this parcel to last long. To place your order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Chris Cottrell
Specialist, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

Ulysse Collin Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs(2006)

Special Email Bottle Price: $53.95 (compare at $69.99+)

Special Email 6-Pack Price: $299.70 ($49.95 a bottle)

Antonio Galloni of the Wine Advoate:

"Collin’s first release of his NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs is Pinot Noir from the 2006 vintage. This is one of the more unusual Champagnes readers are likely to come across. Initially rather perfumed and sweet, the wine turns powerful on the palate as waves of fruit emerge effortlessly from the glass. The wine possesses a compelling and totally intriguing combination of silky fruit, chalky minerality and sheer muscle, all wrapped together by the extra-dry, non-dose finish of crystalline purity and sublime length. The style here is decidedly more wine-like rather than Champagne-like, and this is a bottle that will not appeal to everyone. Still, for readers seeking to discover the outer boundaries of what Champagne is and can be, Collin’s NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs is required drinking. Tasted 24 hours later, the wine was still extraordinary for its freshness and overall balance. Going forward, I am told the vintage will appear somewhere on the back label, which will be essential for differentiating this wine from future releases. Disgorged: September 9, 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018."

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