Delamotte is among the oldest Champagne houses. Together with Salon, they are part of the Laurent-Perrier group, and under the management of one president: Didier Depond. Delamotte can be seen as the little sister of Salon, as it also produces nice champagnes with large amounts of chardonnay, and blanc de blancs from the best crus in the Côte des Blancs.
François Delamotte, a magistrate in Reims, founded his Champagne house in 1760. His son Nicolas-Louis perpetuated the firm, together with his business partner Jean-Baptiste Lanson. However, after Nicolas died in 1837, having no heirs, the house came into the hands of Jean-Baptiste. For a short period, the house continued as Veuve Delamotte-Barrachin until 1856 when Nicolas’ widow passed away and the Lanson family gained full control of the company, reestablishing it as Lanson Père et Fils. But Delamotte would come back to life as a spin-off from the Lanson family with Marie-Louise Lanson, granddaughter of Jean-Baptiste Lanson. Although she was the oldest of three siblings, she was not the primary inheritor of Lanson, and received Delamotte instead. She married Charles de Nonancourt, and had two sons, Charles and Bernard. Charles inherited Delamotte in 1927, while Bernard took control of a small house called Laurent-Perrier, which Marie-Louise had purchased in 1938 and that would later become one of the largest houses of Champagne. Charles sold Delamotte in 1988 to Laurent-Perrier, which six months later also acquired the neighboring house Salon. Since then, the two houses are bound together.
Vineyard and Production
Delamotte produces around 800,000 bottles annually, sourcing its chardonnays from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (and from Jardin de Salon when it is not used for Salon), with external supplies from other grands crus in the Côte des Blancs, namely Avize, Oger, and Cramant. The pinots noirs come from key grands crus in the Montagne de Reims, namely Bouzy, Ambonnay, and Tours-sur-Marne. The very little meuniers used come from the Marne Valley. As opposed to Salon, the wines undergo malolactic fermentation, as these champagnes are released and consumed younger.
Delamotte champagnes are light, refreshing yet round and well balanced and very easy to drink. Thanks to adequate aging and dosage, their blanc de blancs are “easier” than most from the Côte des Blancs.
Delamotte produces just four cuvées (I love focused ranges): Brut, Rosé, and Blanc de Blancs non-vintage, and Blanc de Blancs Vintage. Brut includes a majority of chardonnay, then pinot noir, and a dash of meunier. Rosé is actually made of 80% of pinot noir, and the rest of chardonnay, with the saignée method. They are all very charming, but I prefer their blanc de blancs; I find them more representative of Delamotte’s identity and would go straight for them if you were to discover this house for the first time.