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Domaine Collet Champagne Tasting in Washington DC


Florent Collet pours the Empreinte de Terroir Brut.

Domaine Collet is in the Côte de Sézanne area of Champagne. Prior to the 1960’s a small vineyard was tended and the grapes were used to make wine for the family.  During the 1960s, the family planted more vines and grapes were sold. By 1973, the family decided to make their own champagne through a cooperative. In 2000, sales were brisk and two years later the family decided to control the entire process of producing champagne from the vine to the bottle. Now, the champagne house is under the leadership of three brothers, Vincent, Thomas and Florent. Their father, René founded the current business in 1973 and adds his knowledge and experience to the production.

We tasted several of the champagnes during the APVSA tasting in Washington DC in January of 2019. Florent presented the champagnes and we were able to interview him.

Interview with Florent Collet

Wine Trail Traveler: When did your wine journey begin, for example when did you become interested in wine?

Florent Collet: We are three brothers managing the estate, so I will answer for myself.

My father worked in the vine from 1973, so I always lived near a vineyard. But my first contact with wine was when I lived in Montpellier in 2004 (south of France). I discover PIC SAINT LOUP, a red and tannic wine with body! That was a beautiful wine. After tasting wines, I developed a preference for Vacqueras and Alsace wine, and of course champagne. When I came back to Champagne, I began wine and vine training and joined my father and my two brothers in the family business.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is unique about the terroir where your grapes grow?

Florent Collet: Our terroir is unique because of our chalky subsoils, it brings creamy notes and salinity to our champagne. It also regulates water during excess wet and dry weather. The other terroir factor is the weather. Champagne grapes grow in the European northern limit. This brings freshness and fineness to the champagne.

Wine Trail Traveler: What varieties of grapes are planted in your vineyards?

Florent Collet: 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot noir

Wine Trail Traveler: How would you describe the difference in your champagnes compared to other champagne producers?

Florent Collet: First, our terroir, it brings citrus flavors as pink pomelos, yellow lemons, also white and yellow fruits as apple, mango, pear, etc. Second, we have 50 “300 liters” barrels and 6 oak tanks, so this brings oakiness and complexity. So the whole gives expressive, complex and rich champagne. 

Wine Trail Traveler: What is the most enjoyable aspect of producing champagne?

Florent Collet: That is the versatility. One day in the wine, the other day in the cellar, the next promoting champagne in the US and the last working in the accounting and finance part. Everyday is a different day.

Champagne Anthime Cuvée Extrême was crafted with 100% Chardonnay.


I tasted three champagnes. The first was the Empreinte de Terroir Brut. This blend of Chardonnay 67% and Pinot Noir 37% was a yellow color. The wine spent about 30 months aging on the lees. The dosage was 7 g/L. There were multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse in the center and circumference of the surface. The wine offered apple, citrus, red berry fruit and freshly baked bread notes. It had a creamy, lively mouthfeel and a crisp finish. This champagne would make a wonderful aperitif at any time of the day. 

The Empreinte de Terroir Rosé was a blend of 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay. The saignée method was used to give this champagne a salmon color. The dosage was 8 g/L which helped bring out some red berry fruits and apple on the aroma and taste. The champagne started with a very creamy mouthfeel that yielded to liveliness. The crispy finish had a bit of mineral.

The Champagne Anthime Cuvée Extrême was crafted with 100% Chardonnay. With only 2 g/L of dosage, this dry champagne was a yellow color. Multiple columns of tiny bubbles formed both a center and circumference mousse. Citrus was dominant with a bit of apple and freshly baked bread. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was fruity with the fruit yielding to freshly baked bread. It was suggested to pair this champagne with lemon pie. 

Domaine Collet is on the APVSA tour of North America this January. They would love to pick up distributors especially in the United Sates.


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