Delamotte makes simply beautiful Champagnes.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
When asked my favorite Champagne, the answer is an easy one—Champagne Delamotte. On my first sip many years ago, I found my favorite, and no other Champagne has since impressed me more.
Founded in 1760, the House of Champagne Delamotte is located in the heart of the Côte des Blancs in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. It is the little sister of, and is contiguous to, Champagne Salon. Grapes are sourced exclusively from Côte des Blanc’s grand cru vineyards.
At Champagne Delamotte winemaking is a simply beautiful process. The wine is aged on the lees for an extended time with no use of oak, with no particular yeast selection. The wines are a precise expression of their vintage’s year of vineyard work. And these unique Delamotte Champagnes should be served at 54 degrees in small wine glass rather than a thin flute.
I chose three of these wines recently for an intimate family celebration: Champagne Delamotte Brut, Champagne Delamotte Brut Rosé, and Champagne Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blancs 2004. Champagne Delamotte Brut ($45-$50) is a non-vintage Champagne that does not rely on reserve wines for character but speaks from its own roots instead. The wine is a blend of Grand Cru Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that offers notes of pear and ginger, and a nice minerality—making it a lovely aperitif wine. Champagne Delamotte Brut Rosé ($85-$90) is made in the traditional sanignée method. Complexity and color is extracted from the skins through maceration. And this traditional rosé method lends elegance and structure to the wine. Grand Cru Pinot Noir dominates in this wine in which Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes have been co-fermented—rather than blending two varietal wines. Thus the complexity of each varietal is preserved while preserving the saignée color. The creamy wine is pink, salmon in color with a fine acidity and offers notes of strawberry, ginger, and smoke. Champagne Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blancs 2004 is made of 100 percent Grand Cru Chardonnay. This wine spent eight years on the lees in the cellar. It is pale gold in color with layered notes of peach, orange, Mirabelle, and quince. Sip its fine, delicate bubbles at 50 degrees.
Published, B-Metro magazine, June, 2014