Sister brand to Salon, Delamotte has stormed up the Most Admired Champagne Brands ratings this year, coming up from just outside the top 30 in 2016. Speculating as to why this may be, I’m tempted to think it has much to do with value. The quality of the Delamotte wines looks high compared with the very reasonable prices. When we talked earlier in this survey about a lack of competitors for Ruinart Blanc de Blancs non-vintage style, such as Henriot on the previous page, Delamotte Blanc de Blancs is an obvious contender. For greater commercial success, it perhaps just lacks Ruinart’s drinkability, but for Blanc de Blancs purists it is all impressively sourced from Grands Crus vineyards in Côte des Blancs villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant.
It may also be slightly handicapped by the high-profile image of Salon, but as the sixth-oldest house in Champagne, founded back in 1760, compared with new boy on the block Salon, a house only created in 1911, it shouldn’t be overshadowed.
The Delamotte vintage Blanc de Blancs are a class act – distinctly age-worthy wines in their own right. At the Salon 2004 launch in April 2016 the two last vintages from 2004 and 2007 both still seemed youthful, but have a concentration, freshness and grip that would encourage me to cellar them for a few years, particularly the 2004.
UK Agents Corney & Barrow also showed Delamotte Collection vintages from 1999 and 1985. Priced at £108 and £373 respectively, these had every element I’d want to find in top-class Blanc de Blancs champagne – fresh floral notes, a lovely honeyed mid-palate richness, textural creaminess and a long, complex finish.