Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Delamotte is as close to Salon as you can get. Not just in the title of this article but also physically since these two are neighbours in the no less a famous village of Le Mesnil sur Oger separated by a 15 cm thick wall. These two houses are also connected intrinsically.

Grapes that are not good for Salon in any given year are not used in Laurent Perrier cuvees but are used in Delamotte. To correct some potentially wrong assumption, Delamotte vintages stand alone and can consider themselves a player on the scene that not many know about.

For example, 1995 harvests for both were declared as vintages so in that very surprising harvest where the wines demonstrated body, structure, weight and depth of character both houses nailed it. Delamotte did not get the Salon grapes because they declare a sublime tipple themselves.

But what wines they both were!!!
Delamotte - was big, slightly older, thus richer on honey notes, but as Le Mesnil would give anyway, a slap in the face, with structure, balance, finesse and great potential for aging. I tasted it twice and at first it was a little bit shy but then bang!
Salon - WTF? I am still in awe of this wine! Someone once told me that when they tasted it was too young, at which point I wondered 'which book did you read that in?'. The wine was historically young that is true, but too young? At any rate, this wine was 'A Madamme, so chic, and seductive, elegant and so powerful that no one on the planet would ever dream of contesting her'. In a less dramatic sense this was such a power wine, I nearly felt like biting into it not just drink it. At one point I actually caught myself, 'don't bite the glass, drink it' and I had to restrain myself infront of the lady that was showing me around Salon and Delamotte respectively and all I could utter was WOW!. Few years later, as I got a whole case to myself on the day I visited Salon, I must admit the wine fell asleep, the creaminess had disappear but the lean elegance was sublime, there are a few bottles still in my cellar but perhaps for my 60th.

95 is my personal favourite. :)

psst! the closest thing to Salon 95 WTF! was Gosset's Grande Millesime 96!

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