95 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The finest young wine I've encountered from Delamotte, the 2008 Blanc de Blancs unfurls in the glass with an expressive bouquet of freshly baked bread, lemon oil, green apple, oyster shell and mandarin. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, textural but incisive, with superb concentration and depth at the core and a long, penetrating finish. Less autolytic in style than the 2004, some 60,000 bottles were produced, around a third less than in an average vintage. This bottle was disgorged a year ago with seven grams per liter dosage.
About The Wine
Yes, the winter was mild, spring was cold and rainy and early June was glacial, then flowering began and the future was decided. There were worries about coulure and millerandage, dreaded afflictions of the vine. The winemakers waited...and June finally turned into summer: the grapes looked to be well-developed, and a harvest date could be forecast. A superb August sealed the deal. The Chardonnay flourished, gaining in ripeness until mid-September when the harvest started in the Côte des Blancs, ensuring that 2008 would be an exceptional year. And the long wait began.
From Cramant to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger through Avize and Oger but also Chouilly and Oiry : all are found in the Côte des Blancs. Its location is one of Delamotte’s richest assets. The chalky soil, the flora and the sloping vineyards give the grapes their exceptional character, delivering delicate, consistent champagnes. Championing this exceptional terroir, drawing the best from it while maintaining absolute respect for the vines and the environment – that’s what Delamotte is all about.
Each village has its own style. Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (20%): acidity, purity and chalky minerality. Avize (20%): balance and structure. Oger (20%), warmth, body and generosity. Cramant: smoky minerality. Chouilly: robustness and length. And finally, Oiry: acidity and roundness. To reprise the musical analogy, each territory has its own score and, when they are all played together to create Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2008, each one can be heard in its own right. It is left to age over nine long years. Not much, given the powerfulness of this wine. Its richness is equalled only by its concentration, and yet it remains light on its feet. It can even be generous...Such is the supreme elegance of a wine with ageing potential.
How should it be served ?
Chilled but never cold (around 8°C) and served in a tulip wine glass.
It is pale as a summer dawn. The nose is clear, pure, distinct and deep, with great character. In the mouth, it is precise, its taut minerality drying the palate, making the mouth water, an alliance of opposites. And finally, it delivers enticing aromas of brioche fresh from the oven.
A powerful wine demands a powerful food pairing. Something to really stimulate the palate so that it can respond in kind. So, truffle stuffed chicken in a Suprême sauce or equally a simple truffle camembert or brie. And if there are no truffles, why not a cream of cep mushroom soup with a pastry lid?