This is a 50/50 blend of 2014 and 2013 wine, disgorged in March 2018. The beautifully textured and perfumed Blanc de Noirs comes from a site called Les Maillons in Barbonne-Fayel, near the town of Sézanne (in the Côte de Sézanne). Of Les Maillons’ 6 hectares, Collin farms 2.5 hectares and is the only grower to work the soil here. The commute by tractor takes a good two hours each way from the cellar! The Ulysse Collin parcel was originally planted with massale vines in 1971 on a slope of heavy, iron-rich clay. This is a superb Pinot terroir and can ripen the grapes to north of 12% potential alcohol easily—something very rare in Champagne. The location of the site also helps to conserve acidity and freshness thanks to its ventilated, east-facing exposure. The current release includes a significantly higher portion of reserve wine than previously, (and is all the better for it!), and was aged in three to 6-year-old barrels (including some foudres) for the first seven months of its life. Disgorged with only 2.4 grams. This a gloriously perfumed, red-fruited wine with wonderful purity and mineral energy. One of my favourite Champagnes at the moment.