Friday, October 7, 2011
Champagne Collard-Picard: The Sublime Cuvee des Archives
With a wine making tradition extending back five generations, Collard-Picard, which produces Grower's Champagne, has a rich history. The current incarnation is also a tale of love, of the union of two wine producing families. In 1996, Olivier Collard, whose family was from the Marne Valley, and his wife Caroline Picard, whose family was from the Côtes des Blancs, together founded Collard-Picard, their joint Champagne endeavor. During my visit to the Champagne region, I had the pleasure to meet both Olivier and Caroline, to tour their winery and sample some of their sparkling wines. They made a sweet couple, and their obvious passion has resulted in excellent Champagne.
The wine is unfiltered and spent 18 months in a large oak barrel on the lees. In addition, it was corked after bottling and then recorked after disgorgement, with a dosage of 8 g/l. This wine was produced only a single time, and there are no plans to repeat the production. The total production included 8000 bottles, 400 magnums, and 120 jeroboams. This was an amazing Champagne, with such a complex character and soul. It is a rich and concentrated wine, with plenty of acidity, some creaminess, and a melange of appealing flavors, including apples, toast, and spice. It evolved in my glass and I think it would undergo a delightful transformation over several hours. The wine is intended to be an excellent pairing with foie gras and meat. What a sublime Champagne, showcasing the best of Grower's Champagne and at a less expensive price than what you would have found with one of the major Houses.