In the picturesque village of Chouilly, in the north of Côte des Blancs, you find Champagne Stéphane Coquillette. Stéphane produces 1er and Grand Cru champagne, together with his wife Marie Hélène, their children Louis and Diane, and their dog Newton.
Stéphane used to work with his father at Champagne Saint-Chamant in Epernay. However their views on how a good champagne should be made differed greatly. In the end Stéphane decided to make champagne in his own way, away from the Vallée de la Marne, and south to the Côte des Blancs. He found the perfect site in Chouilly where he built a press station. In the years that followed Stéphane acquired plots in Chouilly, Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and Cuis.
The grapes are pressed very slowly and the wines take a long time to age. Taking things slow and taking the time results in a “fine bulle”; a delicate mousse in the final champagne. The range of Coquillette consists of a Carte d’Or 1er Cru (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), Cuvée Diane Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (100% Chouilly Chardonnay), Les Clés Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru (100% Aÿ Pinot Noir), Millésimé Blanc de Blancs (100% old vines Chardonnay from Couilly) and By Louis (100% barrel fermented Pinot Noir).
In the early days Champagne Stéphane Coquillette was known for its accessibility and easy character. For a couple of years, however, the quality is going up strongly, with more complexity, deeper hints and much more expression from the terroir.