"Usually in a special bottle you have very powerful flavors, a lot of character," Sébastien Walasiak told me. "We don't want powerful. We want a long mouth, but not too powerful, not too much character."
This for a $100 bottle. Tell me more.
He did, and the story ended up reminding me less of winemaking than of some of the sakes I most like now, but that also took me years to appreciate.
Champagne Collet is the oldest co-op in Champagne, founded in 1921 by growers upset over grapes from North Africa winding up in Champagne. There was a riot and an arson fire over the issue, showing that wine politics haven't changed in France in nearly a century.