Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2002
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Its complexity is the result of this care and time. Fine bubbles and texture, with crystalline minerality, the 2002 vintage is structured and elegant and its honeyed depth expresses both power and finesse – the harmonious balance of a wine assured of a long and complex intriguing future.
Its color is a bright straw yellow with green hints. After an opening juicy, green apple nose come hints of white blossom, hawthorn and acacia, followed by lightly toasted notes. The initial taste is rich – a suave, creamy but refreshing wine. It is followed by peach, yellow fruit compote, the lacy feel of apple tart – with a fine persistence and a superb finish. The 2002 is an elegant, well-balanced vintage, perfectly representative of the vintage and the Mesnil-sur-Oger House.
A true pleasure with grilled fish, langoustine and shrimp, oysters, poultry and all cream dishes.
Wine & Spirits - "Dark toned and rooty at first, this opens into a sunny Champagne that curves past scents of the woods and scents of the earth. If limestone could be wine, it would have the buzz of this 2002. The mouthwatering flavors extend for minutes, providing a glimpse of what this may become with another ten years in bottle. "
The Wine Advocate - "Since around two-thirds of Delamotte production represents their basic Brut; another 25% their non-vintage Blanc de Blancs; and there is a bit of rose, too, it follows that their 2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs represents a rare bird indeed; and from its being on the market now (in the form of a late-2012 disgorgement) you can recognize how little hurry the house is to release their vintage bottling. Already in the nose, hints of walnut and pistachio oils point toward the bittersweet, subtly smoky, faintly toasty aspect of a bottling that at the same time harbors pure and succulent apple and pear wreathed in heliotrope and orange blossom inner-mouth perfume. A vividly scallop-like and salivary gland-milking sweet- saline, mineral-animal savor opens the floodgates of the salivary glands, and for some of us, perhaps even the tear ducts. This finishes with extraordinary persistence and alliance of richness with levity. Especially considering that, in a vintage of this quality, Salon was not giving up their fruit to help inform this vintage Delamotte, it represents an outstanding accomplishment; and what's more, a quite stunning value for its genre. "
International Wine Cellar - "Light, bright gold. Sexy, mineral-accented aromas of candied citrus fruits, quince, honeysuckle and ginger. Dry and nervy but densely packed, offering energetic orange, lemon and floral flavors and a late note of iodine. Impressively balanced and pure blanc de blancs with outstanding finishing clarity and mineral-driven persistence. Built for the long haul."
Wine Spectator - "A mineral-driven version, with sleek acidity and a lively bead framing the notes of macerated peach and apricot, candied grapefruit zest and lemon meringue pie. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases imported"
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Delamotte's 2002 Blanc de Blancs bursts from the glass with lemon peel, brioche, flowers and spices. Rich, textured and utterly impeccable, the 2002 impresses for its breadth and creaminess. This is a fairly accessible 2002 with plenty of near and medium-term appeal. The long, pointed finish is especially of note."
Burghound.com - "A relatively high-toned nose of green apple, baker's yeast, floral and citrus peel hints precedes the distinctly effervescent, even slightly foamy flavors that possess good depth on the bone dry finish. This is clearly still on its way up as the focused finish is still compact and while this is certainly refreshing and there is enough depth present to make for an interesting drink, it will be better in due course. In sum, there is good development potential and will especially please those who prefer very dry vintage Champagne."
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The House of Delamotte is the fifth-oldest Champagne house in the region, founded in 1760. It is located in the heart of the Côte des Blancs in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Delamotte is small (just 25,000 cases annually) and one of Champagne's best-kept secrets. It is the sister winery of the legendary House of Salon. The two wineries sit side-by-side and are both run by Didier Depond.
"Delamotte has always been somewhat of an insider's house, producing high quality at realistic prices. One of the best buys in exquisitely crafted Champagne."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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