By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
The Delamotte estate was founded in Reims, France, in 1760. And since the early 20th century, the House of Delamotte has produced Blanc de Blancs Champagne in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Today, the House of Delamotte and its sister company, Champagne Salon, are made under the watchful eye of Didier Depond. Michel Fauconnet, cellar master at Laurent-Perrier, provides supervision over vinification. Their small production team includes only 10 people to manage the annual production of 750,000 bottles.
Decades of relationships between Delamotte and their growers ensure that their founding principles are met in every bottle. In both the Delamotte vineyards and those of their growers, the pruning, nipping of buds, and tying of vines are done meticulously in order to yield the highest quality of fruit.
The House of Delamotte offers four bruts: Delamotte Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage, and Delamotte Rosé. For special celebrations and holidays, I highly recommend Champagne Delamotte Brut, Blanc de Blancs 2007 ($112) and Delamotte Rosé ($90). The Blanc de Blancs 2007 is a gorgeous wine that is soft gold in color with small and persistent effervescence, boasts notes of white flower and orange blossom, and hints of pear and spearmint.
The Brut Rosé is made by the traditional saignee method, which is rarely used in making Champagne due to its complex method. Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards and Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger are co-fermented, rather than blended, which preserves the complexity of each varietal that results in a salmon pink color. The wine also spends three to four years on the lees before disgorgement. Notes of strawberry, ginger, and peach combine with fine acidity and structure in this elegant wine.