Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Night Bubbles

It's natural to overlook Champagne Delamotte, as its superstar sister Salon gets most of the attention. And like many whose siblings have attention-grabbing personalities, Delamotte wines are of the quiet type. They don't show particularly well at big tastings, at least in my experience, where the loudest wines draw the crowds. But as an apértif with friends or at the table, these wines are surprisingly lovely.

This post is in part a tribute to Peter Liem and his recently deceased blog Besotted Ramblings and Other Drivel. I don't know this for sure because we've never discussed it, but I imagine that Peter would like these wines, particularly the one I drank the other night, a gift from my friend Tista (who I met through Peter), the NV Delamotte Brut Rosé, about $55, Wilson Daniels Imports.

Peter would like this wine because it smells and tastes great. Period. It is not a super-cool skateboarding and mussy-haired hipster Champagne, it doesn't appear on the list at any of the hottest Paris bars, or at Terroir or Ten Bells. The wine maker did not grow the grapes or spray them with biodynamic treatments, and there are no former-bankers turned hippie horse farmers involved in any way with the production, importing, or distribution of this wine. Many of the wine cool-cats would say, then, that Delamotte Rosé isn't worth drinking, or at best would simply ignore it. And this is one of my favorite things about Peter Liem as a wine writer - he thinks about and writes about wine based on merits, not based on hipster caché. Some of the wines he loves are cool-cat wines, like Overnoy/Houillon, La Bota Sherries, and Vouette et Sorbée, but he also likes decidedly un-hip big house wines, négoce wines, and anything else that speaks to him. And if you don't think that's cool, that's your problem. I'll miss his blog very much, but there are other ways to follow Peter's wine writing, praise be.

The NV Delamotte Brut Rosé is a saignée wine. That's cool, isn't it? So is Vouette et Sorbée, so they have that in common. It is 80% Pinot Noir, the rest Chardonnay. It needs a half hour or so to open up, and then the fresh red berry aromas become quite vivid, the nose airy and fresh. It is elegant and balanced on the palate, without sacrificing the energetic exuberance of a good saignée. The fruit is ripe and there is a tender chalky and floral fragrance on the finish. We loved it, and I look forward to serving it blind the next time I am hosting a Champagne-loving uber-hipster.

1 comment:

Do Bianchi said...

I have always appreciated Delmotte and found it a great go-to wine on many lists...

I'll miss Peter's blog, too.