Delamotte, Brut Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil sur Oger, $82
Delamotte is one of the oldest houses in Champagne, dating back to 1760. While not technically a grower-producer, it has one of the top pedigrees in Champagne. It is based in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs. The fruit for their wines is sourced from their own vineyards in Le Mesnil, Oger, and Avize as well as from partner vineyards in other Grand Cru villages. The important thing to know about Delamotte is that it is the “sister” winery to Salon, which has been called one of Champagne’s “most mystical and elusive wines.” This is, in no small part, because they only produce one wine: a vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne, and only in great years which they determine to be worthy. Their Champagnes come from their own property in Le Mesnil, as well as a number of select growers who sell all of their fruit to Salon. What doesn’t end up in Salon, goes into Delamotte. And in the years they don’t produce a wine, all of that fruit goes into Delamotte.
Astonishingly, in the last century, Salon has declared less than 40 vintages, so Delamotte inherits an envious supply of stunning fruit. Delamotte shares the same viticultural, winemaking, and management team with Salon. Both Champagnes are fermented in stainless steel, with modest dosage in order to maintain the purity of the fruit, with its chalky minerality from the Côte des Blancs soil. Delamotte ages its wines on its lees for four to five years before disgorgement and, unlike Salon, their wines go through malolactic fermentation, adding richness, complexity, and notes of white fruit to the clean, pure mineral flavors. This is a beautiful Champagne to enjoy on its own, or with fresh oysters or elegant seafood dishes.