Spring = Champagne
With spring carnival on the doorstep and budburst happening in the garden, I couldn’t turn down an invite to sample one of the newest Champagne imports to Australia, Champagne Collet. Since 1921, the house of Collet has been producing champagne with finesse and elegance, drawing largely from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards, over an area of 750ha.
With some 750 growers and up to 30 villages to source premium grapes, the diversity of soils in Champagne shine through the Collet portfolio of champagne. The range covers Brut through to their Esprit Couture NV which is aged for a minimum of five years. From aperitif to the finest dish, there is a style for all occasions.
Each champagne was so unique and so refined, displaying a magical interplay of power yet restraint that I have decided to share notes on them all. Here’s hoping you are inspired to purchase a bottle to embrace the arrival of spring!
Aged for a minimum of three years, this is a blend of Chardonnay (25 – 30%), Pinot Noir (15 – 20%) and Pinot Meunier (50%). The nose is filled with toasty, yeasty notes plus lively citrus fruits that lead to a full bodied palate with racy acidity, vibrancy and a long finish. The Pinot Meunier shines through in this champagne giving freshness and rich fruit flavours. $85 rrp
Blanc de blancs NV
Driven by elegance and finesse from 100% Chardonnay, the acid / mineral profile was the feature of this champagne. A delicate nose with citrus notes and white blossom led to a beautiful mouth feel starting with fine mousse and proceeding to a very long finish. With just 7 grams residual sugar this contributed to the mouth feel and the finish was dry. Aged for a minimum of five years before release this champagne lends itself to food. $140 rrp
Extra Brut NV
This is a blend of Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir (40%) and Pinot Meunier (20%), aged for a minimum of four years, followed by 12 months post disgorgement. With dosage sitting at 3.5 grams residual sugar this champagne is a true reflection of grape varieties and terroir. A fresh and vibrant nose displays zesty grapefruit, red apple skins and strawberries. The palate has a steely profile with loads of minerality and a super long and focussed finish. $98 rrp
Art Deco NV
Considered to be the ‘house’ style, this champagne is aged for a minimum of four years before release and is made up of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. Its bright in the glass with an intense nose displaying red fruits and a floral lift. The Chardonnay grounds the champagne and 9 grams residual sugar adds texture rather than sweetness to the palate. Engaging from the aroma to the long and vibrant finish, I could have easily found a spot in the sun and sipped on a glass! $95 rrp
Aged for a minimum of six years (well beyond the minimum three yeas for vintage champagne), the blend is Pinot Noir (55%), Chardonnay (35%) and Pinot Meunier (10%). Around 64% of the fruit was aged in small oak barrels from the Champagne region. The nose was dominated by secondary characters and included walnuts, vanilla, brioche and toastiness. The palate was dry and surprisingly lifted with a super long finish. $140 rrp
Aged for four years before release, the champagne consists of Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir (50%) and Pinot Meunier (10%). In keeping with one of the ways Rose is made in Champagne, 15% of the Pinot Noir has been vinified as red wine, giving strawberries and tropical fruits to the nose and palate. A delicate pink hue in the glass, this champagne is expressive up front with a lively palate and engaging long finish. $117 rrp
Esprit Couture NV
Sourcing fruit from the finest crus, this champagne is hand crafted from beginning to end, using Pinot Noir (50%), Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Meunier (10%), and ageing for a minimum of five years. The champagne commands attention from its appearance in bottle (super contemporary, standing to attention in a gift box). Of all the champagnes this was the most tightly wound, driven by its acid / mineral profile from front to back palate. So youthful and so racy, this needs further time in bottle for the pure fruit expression to shine through. With just a handful of six packs available in Australia, this is a champagne to cellar for the future. $275 rrp.
If you are tempted by any of these notes I would recommend contacting importers Bacchus Wine Merchants for details of stockists.
Let’s make a toast: here’s to spring, here’s to bubbles and here’s to Champagne Collet!