Champagne Delamotte 1999

Decanter has announced that Champagne Salon 1999 was launched at an event on the British isles, and that it is a good match with fish & chips. Dr. Jamie Goode/Wine Anorak confirms this and also has a video from the event on his blog.

What I found more interesting than the food pairing was the information on upcoming vintages: 2002, 2004 and 2006. This means that 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005 will be skipped over. 2001 and 2003 don’t surprise me, since almost no major producer released 2001s, and the extremely hot and atypical 2003 probably didn’t yield wines of sufficient acidity to fit the Salon style. But that they also skip over 2000 and 2005 – which I perceived to be rather good Champagne vintages – is a little surprising. Salon did on the other hand produce a 1997, which I basically thought was a weaker year than these two, but I may have misunderstood. Or local conditions in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (the village Salon is sourced from) was a little different than the regional average. Krug has done completely opposite in 1997-1999 with their vintage wine: no 1997, they did do a 1998 (still the latest release last time I checked), but I believe I’ve heard that they were not going to do a 1999. This is from memory, though, I have to check up where I got this from.

Since Salon is a little more …how shall we say? pricey… than the wines I typically fill up my cellar with, I chose to honour this occasion by instead trying the 1999 vintage of Salon’s “little sister”. Sometimes you just have to make do as best as you can with the cheap stuff. 🙂

Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 1999

100% Chardonnay. Bought 2010 in Epernay for € 35, which probably was a very good price compared to the retail price in most foreign markets.

Bright yellow, rather persistent mousse. In the nose toasted hazelnuts, citrus, green apple, some peach, a slightly biscuity-buttery note that makes me think of small biscuits and dry cookies. Medium bodied, very crisp, fruity aromas with note of citrus, yellow apple and peach, very distinct acidity, clear mineral notes, long aftertaste with mineral and grapfruit. A stylish and elegant blanc de blancs with typicity. 90-91 p.

It has a nice complexity in the nose, but is still rather young on the palate. It’s not too young to drink, but it will develop for many more years. Vintage blanc de blancs of this style and quality will probably last almost forever in a good cellar.

I’d recommend this Champagne with seafood, in particular those served in a more or less “naturel” style, rather than with fish & chips.

A good value at the price I paid in Epernay. The wine was rated “87 (89)” by Richard Juhlin in the 2008 edition of his guide.

The Swedish version of this post can be found here.

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