Les Pierrières is a 1.3 hectare parcel west of Congy in the Coteaux du Petit Morin in the direction of the Côte des Blanc. It’s an east sloping site with a chalky soil that contains large chunks of black silex, or onyx (very rare in Champagne), that might well be responsible for the ‘smoky’ hint in the wine’s profile. There is only 10-40 cm of topsoil before the vines hit the soft chalk (and silex) of the bedrock. The vines are now 35 years old and the current release is based on 2014 with 50% reserve wine from 2013 (from the same vineyard). Naturally fermented in neutral oak casks, the wine was put to bottle after 11 months and then disgorged in March 2018 after 36 months on lees, with 1.7 grams dosage only. It was neither fined nor filtered. This is a super intense and mineral wine, incredibly earthy and salty with a grapefruity, pithy drive and freshness. This is one of the historic wines from this producer, i.e. it was first produced in 2004. It’s comfortably the raciest, mineral wine in the Ulysse Collin range and this release is stunning. The flint certainly seems to bring something special, magnifying the salty, smoky edge of the wine. It can be kept for 10-15 years no problem.