Sténopé is a collaboration between Michel Parisot and renowned winemaker from the Rhône Valley, Michel Chapoutier. Sharing the same philosophy around vineyards and respect for the land, they decided to create an exceptional Champagne that takes a snapshot of a particular vintage – the name means ‘pinhole camera’ in French. Sténopé is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir carefully selected by Michel Parisot from his preferred plots. This includes En Chanseux and Val Bazot, sites which Devaux and Chaputier purchased together. Located in Les Riceys, these sites produce Pinot Noir with a distinctive Burgundian character, with richness and length, while retaining finesse. The vines are 50 years old on average, resulting in excellent concentration.
2012 was a complex vintage in the vineyard, but yielded excellent quality fruit. A mild winter was followed by intense cold spells in February and some incidences of spring frost, which affected flowering. Late spring and early summer were very wet, but dry and sunny conditions from July onwards and into harvest resulted in concentrated and healthy grapes.
Only the initial, lightly-pressed juice (première serre) was used for the base wine, the majority of which was fermented in 300 litre oak barrels, aged between one and five years. All of the barrels are made from locally sourced wood, which comes from three forests in the Champagne region. Following the second fermentation in bottle, each bottle of Sténopé was aged for a minimum of 7 years on lees. An extra brut dosage of 5g/L was selected for best expression of the vintage. The total production of Sténopé 2012 was 6215 bottles and 880 magnums, each one of which is numbered.