Champagne Ulysse Collin

Headquartered in the township of Congy in the Coteaux du Morin, Olivier Collin is the sole proprietor of Champagne Ulysse Collin and 8.7ha of of Chardonnay and Pinot noir vines across the Coteaux du Morin and Côte de Sézanne. The Collin family has been in Congy for two centuries, leasing their vines on long-term contracts to Champagne Pommery, yet it was not until a short but life-affirming internship with Anselme Selosse in 2001 that Olivier was inspired to reclaim his family’s land and embark upon independent production in 2003, naming his Estate after an ancestor. However, the Estate’s maiden crop succumbed to the ruthlessness of nature that year, as severe frost forced Olivier to sell the entire harvest. Undeterred, Olivier pushed on and bottled his first successful vintage in 2004 and, in doing so, carved a strong foothold into Champagne’s emerging bedrock of rising stars. Today, Olivier Collin is the region’s most significant grower-producer and one of Champagne’s few specialists in both single-varietal and single-vineyard champagnes.

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In comparison to the ubiquitous chalk found in the neighbouring growing region of the great Côte des Blancs, Olivier’s vines sit in diverse soils of chalk, clay and flint across the Coteaux du Morin and Côte de Sézanne, and it is this point of difference that drives him to passionately explore and express the unique terroir of these lesser-known regions year after year. Olivier produces five cuvées in very limited quantities: three Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) champagnes hailing from the Coteaux du Morin (Les Pierrières, Les Enfers and Les Roises), one Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot noir) champagne from the Côte de Sézanne (Les Maillons) and one champagne rosé assembled from 100% Pinot noir (Les Maillons Rosé de Saignée)—all from single vineyards with a vine age between 35 and 60 years. Olivier practices organic cultivation, and winemaking is carried out with minimal intervention. Vinification occurs in neutral oak as pressed juice is fermented with indigenous yeasts, with some wines undergoing natural malolactic fermentation. Wines spend an impressive 36 to 48 months on lees (future releases will see wines on lees for 48 to 60 months) and are neither fined nor filtered before bottling. Since 2009, Olivier has kept reserve wine, of which he blends an impressive 60% into his flagship cuvées, Les Pierrières and Les Maillons. Always disgorged with a very low dosage, each release from Champagne Ulysse Collin is incisive, sumptuous and patently terroir-driven. They are treasured masterpieces that not only express great singularity but also the enduring spirit of the Grower movement—of ingenuity, candour and longevity. Not to be missed.