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Champagne Colin: A Premier and Grand Cru Champagne Estate

Champagne Colin is the oldest champagne house that we tasted wines at the APVSA (the Association for the Promotion of Wine and Spirits in America) tasting in Washington DC.  The house was established in 1889; now the seventh generation is leading this champagne house in crafting champagnes made with Grand Cru and Premier Cru grapes. Champagne Colin is located in Vertus, a village in the south of Côte des Blancs.

In the past, the champagne house was a cooperative. That changed under the leadership of Richard and Romain Colin in 1995. They became independent winegrowers. They produced champagnes from their 11 hectares (27 acres) of grapes. Most of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay grapes, however, they family also has plantings of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Most of the 11 hectares of vines are classified as Premier Cru and Grand Cru.

Kathy and I tasted four of the champagnes in their extensive portfolio. The Cuvée Alliance was a blend of 65% Chardonnay from a Premier Cru vineyard in Vertus and 35% Pinot Meunier from a vineyard in Sézanne. The dosage was 10g/l and the wine aged for 15 to 24 months prior to disgorgement. The yellow colored champagne had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a surface mousse. It offered apple and citrus with a very creamy mouthfeel. This champagne could be served as an aperitif as well as with chicken dishes.

The Cuvée Blanche de Castille, Premier Cru was crafted with 100% Chardonnay from Vertus and Bergères-les-Vertus Premier Cru. The dosage was 7.5g/l and the wine aged 24 months prior to disgorgement and an additional six months after disgorging. The yellow colored champagne had multiple columns of tine bubbles forming a center mousse. Apples and and freshly baked bread were noticed on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was creamy. There was a crisp fruity finish. Use this champagne as an aperitif or match with seafood especially shrimp.

The Cuvée Grand Cru Millésime 2008 was crafted with Chardonnay grapes from the Cramant and Oiry Grand Cru vineyards. The dosage was 8g/l and the wine aged for 7 ½ years prior to disgorgement. An additional six months of aging continued after disgorging. This dark yellow colored wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse around the glass circumference. The champagne aroma and taste was reminiscent of freshly baked bread, apple and citrus. The fruity finish yielded to mineral. Serve this elegant champagne as an aperitif.

Our final tasting was the Cuvée Rosé. The blend is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir that was vilified as a red wine. The grapes were sourced from Premier Cru family vineyards in Vertus and Bergères-les-Vertus. The dosage was 12g/l and the champagne aged for 22 months prior to disgorgement and 6 months after disgorging. The wine had a salmon color with red hue. Strawberries and apples were noticed. The mouthfeel was crisp. Use this champagne as an aperitif or pair with red berry desserts.

We enjoyed these champagnes and hope Champagne Colin finds a distributor in the Washington DC area.


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