NV Ulysse Collin “Les Pierrieres” Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne, France
ABOUT THIS WINE
Les Pierrières is a 1.2-hectare monopole in Vert-Toulon, the next village over from Collin's home village of Congy. The southeastern-facing plot features vines averaging 40 years old and chalky soils that also feature chunks and pockets of a rare black flint or silex noir. Pierrières was Olivier Collin's first bottling, and only bottling, in the 2004 vintage, albeit without the name of the site on the label at that time. As for all Collin Champagnes, the fruit is hand-harvested and pressed; the juice is lightly sulfured and settled overnight, then fermented spontaneously and slowly with natural yeasts in oak, with the reserve wine spending an extra year in barrel; the wine is bottled without fining, filtering or sulfuring and aged sur lattes for an extended period, 3 years in the case of Les Pierrières. The wine is disgorged and finished with a small dosage of 1-2 grams/liter at most.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Based in the village of Congy, Olivier Collin comes from a family of vinegrowers who have been active in the Coteaux du Petit Morin since 1812. Georges Collin was the first Récoltant Manipulant in Congy; he started in 1930 and received awards from the French Ministry of Agriculture. Following the second world war, René Collin (Olivier’s grandfather) grew the estate to 18 hectares of vines, began producing his own Champagne blends and was an esteemed member of the "Club des Viticulteurs Champenois" until the 1980’s (it now goes by "Club Trésors de Champagne"). But in 1987, Olivier’s father sold the company and began renting the entirety of the family’s vines and cellar to a big Champagne brand, effectively ending independent production.
In 2003, Olivier successfully recovered 4.5 hectares that had been rented out for a generation. Since then, Olivier has recovered much of the land and is now making beautiful singular Champagne that is sought after all over the world.