Sténopé , Devaux, Champagne, France, Sténopé , Devaux, Champagne, France, 2011 (Gift box)
Devaux was founded in 1846 by brothers Jules and Auguste Devaux, and was family owned for more than a century. Today, Devaux is owned by the Union Auboise, a co-operative in the Côte des Bar, the heartland of Pinot Noir in Champagne, where the grapes are in huge demand from the top producers. Physically closer to Chablis than Reims or Épernay, the vines are grown on Burgundian soils of Kimmeridgian marl and Portlandian limestone. Sténopé is made using only the initial, lightly-pressed juice (première serre). A blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, the base wine was fermented in 300 litre oak barrels, with 10-30% undergoing malolactic fermentation. Following the second fermentation in bottle, each bottle of Sténopé was aged for a minimum of 7 years on lees. The wine was released one year after disgorgement and has an extra brut dosage of 5g/L. The total production of Sténopé 2010 was 6,638 bottles, each one of which is numbered. The growing season in Champagne during 2010 was challenging. It began with a very cold winter, with temperatures dropping to -23˚C in December. Low temperatures persisted until spring. Fortunately June was warm and sunny, followed by heavy rainfall in August, which increased disease pressure in the vineyards. The rains stopped in September, which also brought long sunny days allowing the grapes to ripen fully before they were harvested during the last two weeks of the month. Champagne Devaux grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across 100 hectares of vineyards in the Côte des Bar, Montgueux, Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims. All are sustainably managed with some plots certified organic in 2019. Sténopé is a collaboration between cellar master, Michel Parisot from Devaux and Michel Chapoutier, the renowned winemaker from the Rhône Valley. The idea is to use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the best plots to create an exceptional Champagne that takes a snapshot of a particular vintage - the name Sténopé means ‘pinhole camera’ in French.