(from the classical Greek stenós, narrow, and opê, hole)
Small hole in a partition wall of a dark room, serving as a photographic lens. Very simple optical device used at the very beginning of photography to capture an image of reality.
Sometimes, two wine regions meet and they inspire one another
It all began with an encounter between Champagne and the Rhone Valley, around shared values of open-mindedness and respect for terroir. This encounter gave birth to a daring idea of creating a Champagne that is both rare and full of character: one that would portray the most trustworthy image of a single and unique year. This vision – capturing the very best portrait of a season – is the inspiration behind the name Sténopé.
Always vintage, Sténopé is the result of a precise and unique blend of black and white grapes: Pinot noir and Chardonnay, two emblematic Champagne varieties.
The Cellar Master, Michel PARISOT carefully selects the grapes from his preferred vineyard plots. This same attention to detail is applied during the pressing of the grapes, and the vinification – most of which takes place in barrel, as well as during the delicate “prise de mousse” stage which is followed by a prolonged bottle ageing.
The challenge is, harvest upon harvest, to interpret a season, with all its unique characteristics that become apparent over time and, with one sip, to take each person on a journey of the senses, to the heart of that year.
What the heavens had in store for us…
A grey and overcast sky dominated the winegrowing season. Following a cold winter, and a gloomy start to spring, the temperatures rose in May and a normal flowering ensued by mid-June. The cool summer season that followed resulted in a harvest that began only in the second week of September.
The signs of a great vintage were visible early on.
Thanks to good sugar levels and vibrant acidity, the balance in the base wines, right from the very first fermentation, was remarkable. It is balance that is the marker of an elegant Champagne; one with great finesse and an undeniable ageing potential. The ever-changing Champagne climate, once again out-witted the forecasts, and the mild end to the season made for a high-flying vintage.
The initial aroma conveys a touch of the austere, recalling the freshness of the 2008 season. Chocolate and toasted notes follow, a reminder the speciﬁc viniﬁcation method reserved for Sténopé. Finally, intense notes of candied peel and spice appear and dissipate. This remarkable aromatic depth demonstrates the complexity of this vintage.
On the palate, it is smooth yet pure, and leads to a long citrusy finish, with notes of bergamot. The first fermentation, which occurs mostly in barrel, ensures a creamy texture with notes of praline and toast.
Sténopé 2008 is an inviting Champagne, joyful and flirtatious, surrounded by a unique melody that never leaves the mind. A captivating world to explore.
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