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Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte
January 24, 2017
Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte
We have an exciting announcement to kick off 2017! We are now representing the incomparable Champagne Salon and the esteemed Champagne Delamotte.
Champagne Salon is a true icon in fine wine. Few wines exist in this realm. Tiny production, tremendous quality … the name alone sets collectors’ hearts racing.
In 1911, Aimé Salon released his first Champagne, a 1905 Blanc de Blancs from a one hectare parcel in Le Mesnil, undisputedly the greatest of all Champagne vineyards. Three years later, he formed the house of Salon and quickly became fashionably famous as the house wine of the legendary Maxim’s in Paris. Can you imagine asking for a glass of house wine and receiving Salon!? How times have changed.
Today, this parcel, called “Salon’s Garden”, remains at the heart of the wine, along with 19 other small parcels in Le Mesnil chosen by Aimé Salon at the beginning of the century. Only 4,000 cases are made in any vintage, and they are held for up to 10 years before release. Because it is 100% Chardonnay and because the wine doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation, it retains very high natural acidity and ages for a very long time. Adding to the mystique of Salon is that they only make one wine. This wine has been bottled only 42 times in 111 years.
Champagne Delamotte is one of the oldest wineries in Champagne, established in 1760 in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. At that time, it was one of only five champagne producers. Champagne Delamotte sits contiguous to its sister Champagne Salon property. They share viticultural, enological and managerial teams.
If you are already familiar with Delamotte you may know that in years that Salon is not produced, the fruit is earmarked for Delamotte. (I have always considered this one of the great “secrets” of the wine collecting world!) Much like Salon, the aim at Delamotte is to express the remarkable Grand Cru terroirs of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant through Chardonnay. To produce their delicious Brut NV, they source Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards on south-facing slopes on the Montagne de Reims. For Pinot Meunier, they look to the Valle de la Marne. All three Delamotte wines listed here come in cases of six bottles and will arrive in late March. If you have room for some bubbles in your cellar, the Delamotte wines should be in your collection!
Quantities of Champagne Salon are to be determined; we are still finalizing our allocation.
“Salon’s releases are rare and signify a great vintage – the last release was the 2002. Coming from Grand Cru vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, this 2004 is complex and concentrated, capturing the essence of Chardonnay in Champagne. Intense minerality and ripe apple and citrus fruits accompany the purity and crisp texture that are part of its ability to age. The wine can continue for many years, certainly to 2025 and beyond.”
98 points, Wine Spectator, Dec 2016
“2004 Salon weaves together immense complexity with stunning purity and makes instant impact on the nose with fresh-baked pastry and brioche, chalky minerals, fresh white mushrooms, cucumber, lemon curd and striking lemon and lime fruits. The palate has an almost smoky mineral thread while toasty autolytic flavours build and expand through the mid-palate, opening to grapefruit and ripe white-peach flavours, lemon sorbet and very lightly grilled hazelnuts to close. This is an impressively layered Blanc de Blancs in which bright acidity supports the flavoursome, concentrated and fleshy texture in seamless balance. A great Salon that’s very composed and complex in every respect; it’s a classically styled vintage in which this legendary Champagne has excelled. It will be a fascinatingly complex Champagne with further age.”
98 points, JamesSuckling.com, Oct 2016
“The 2004 Salon has been superb each time I have tasted it over the last year or so. Bright, tense and crystalline, with all of the energy that is typical of both Salon and the vintage in the Côte des Blancs, the 2004 bristles with superb precision and cool, pulsating minerality. The 2004 spent a dozen years on its lees. Over the last six months or so, it has gradually begun to open up, but it is very much a wine for the cellar. Two thousand four is remembered as a vintage with record high yields. Salon (and Delamotte) did a terrific job in keeping the vines well balanced. Production was just 46,000 bottles, as opposed to the 60,000 or so that is more typical. Chef de Caves Michel Fauconnet opted for a low dosage of just 4 grams per litre. This is a tremendous showing.”
97+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, June 2016
Delamotte Brut is a blend of approximately 55% Chardonnay, which sets the framework for the wine; 35% Pinot Noir, which brings fruitiness and richness; and 10% Pinot Meunier, for aromatic charm. These combine in a wine of subtle power, appealing freshness, soft curves and a precise, fresh fruit finish. This is a dry and extremely attractive champagne, balanced and elegant.
Aged on the lees for 30 to 36 months, to build creamy texture, Delamotte Brut receives a light dosage. This wine is extremely food-friendly. No need to age, it can be popped anytime!
“(8 g/l dosage): Light yellow. Mineral-tinged peach, melon and pear aromas display excellent clarity, picking up a subtle floral quality with aeration. Supple and seamless on the palate, offering vivid honeydew and pit fruit flavours accented by a vibrant lemon zest quality. Finishes very long, silky and precise, with an echo of juicy melon and strong mineral lift.”
Delamotte sources its Chardonnay from Grands Crus vineyards of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger and Cramant. It is a beautiful expression of the grape’s delicacy and elegance, fermented in stainless steel with little dosage. Only 10% reserve wines are used, allowing for full display of the terroir of the vineyards, an endless chalk-rich (or as the French say, “crayeux”) expression of Champagne.
The wine is aged for 4-5 years before release, far beyond the legal minimum of 14 months. It will continue to improve for 2-6 years.
“An expressive nose combines a variety of citrus elements along with lovely brioche and yeats scents. There is excellent punch to the delicious, complex and nicely voluminous flavours that are underpinned by a moderately firm mousse before terminating in a balanced and attractively dry finale.”
91 points, burghound.com, Oct 2016
“This subtle Champagne offers a refined, creamy mousse and flavours of Asian pear, toasted almond and lemon parfait, underscored by chalky minerality. Elegant. Drink now through 2019.”
“Delamotte’s 2007 Blanc de Blancs is deep, fleshy and seductive, with lovely textural depth and nuance throughout. The 2007 is a relatively soft, open-knit Delamotte that will drink well upon release. I especially admire the wine’s sense of balance and overall proportion, two of the many qualities that give the 2007 its considerable appeal. 2016 – 2027”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, June 2016
“Sourced from Grands Crus, the 2007 Blanc de Blancs offers a clear and chalky flavoured bouquet of lemons and limes on chalk. Full-bodied, very fresh and elegant on the palate, this is a pure and mineral, tension-filled Champagne. It has purity, freshness and a lot of salt in the finish. This shows stunning freshness and mineral expression for a 2007. What a stunning 2007! 2016 – 2028”
91 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2016