Save paper, read about Champagne (Le Blog des Champagnes Salon et Delamotte)

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Save paper, read about Champagne

La blogosphère est remplit d'informations et d'appréciations du Champagne ; par nous producteurs, amateurs, journalistes, blogs affiliés aux webzines etc. Comme beaucoup de données circulant sur internet, la véracité des informations est souvent cohérente, le contenu parfois passionnant et les sources parfois mal vérifiées.

Aujourd'hui il est plaisant, et rare, de trouver des informations de sources sûres, exactes, nouvelles et assez exhaustives. En matière de Champagne les livres de Tom Stevenson et Richard Juhlin remplissaient ces critères, mais cela reste au stade du papier, du figé dans le temps.

Peter Liem est un journaliste/bloggeur/passionné rigoureux de Champagne qui vit acteullement dans la région. Depuis cette semaine vous trouverez alors en plus de son blog, son nouveau guide de Champagne 100% virtuel, évolutif et frais qui traite pour l'instant d'analyser une centaine de producteurs champenois, maisons et vignerons ; informations et images de première main !

The 'blogosphere' is full of information about Champagne; given by us producers, journalists, aficionados, webzines etc. Much like the rest of the information that circulates on the web, the exactitude of this information is often coherent, the content sometimes interesting and the sources not always verified.

In this day and age it is pleasant, and rare, to find well-sourced, comprehensive and new information all in one. In the matter of Champagne, Richard Juhlin's and Tom Stevenson's books reach this criteria, but they remain in the age of paper, frozen in time until the next edition.

Peter Liem is a rigorous journalist/blogger/aficionado of Champagne who has the advantage of living in the region. This week marks the release of his Champagne Guide, a welcome addition to the popular blog that he has been nourishing for the past few years. The guide is 100% web-based and constantly evolving, a fresh analysis of around a growing number of Champagne producers, houses and vignerons; first hand information and images!


And of course, to lubricate your information addiction, here are a few extracts from his comments :

Champagne Guide.jpg

On Delamotte : "It hardly surprises me that Japan is Delamotte's largest market, as there's something about the delicacy of these champagnes that seems to echo a traditional Japanese aesthetic. These are quiet, discreet wines, focusing more on subtlety and finesse than on power, and should be paired with cuisines that complement these sensibilities. Delamotte's wines are very slow to unwind, and tend to show best with a great deal of aging after disgorgement--the more the better. "

On Delamotte Rosé : "Rating: *(*)
Based on the 2004 harvest, this is 80 percent pinot noir from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Tours-sur-Marne, made as a saignée, and 20 percent of chardonnay from Le Mesnil. It's an intriguing counterpart to Delamotte's Brut--where the Brut feels like a chardonnay that's concealing a hidden core of pinot noir, the rosé feels like a pinot noir that's concealing a core of chardonnay. There's a subtle intensity of red fruit that builds slowly and discreetly on the palate, complemented by a silky texture and tethered by firm but not intrusive acidity. It finishes with a pleasant hint of phenolic bitterness that reminds you it was made by maceration, and the aromas linger on the finish with quiet, fragrant length. This is a wine that's easily missed--it's not a wine for blind tastings or for competitive analysis, but rather one suited to a serene, contemplative environment, paired with food of equal clarity and refinement. As is often the case with Delamotte's champagnes, I picture the perfect setting to be somewhere in Kyoto, as an accompaniment to kaiseki cuisine. Last tasted: 2/09"

On Salon : "As much as I admire Salon, I'll admit that I was slightly puzzled by the recent releases of 1990, 1995 and 1996. It's not that they were lacking in quality (the 1996, in particular, stands out in that trio), but I found their characters to be markedly different from the classical Salon style. It may be due to the vintages involved, as all three years share a certain muscularity and amplitude, which are not traits normally associated with Salon. However, even Salons from warm vintages in the past, such as 1982 or 1969, retain a prominent elegance and lacy finesse, and it will be intriguing to see how this trio of vintages from the 1990s develops with time. It may simply be that these vintages are unusually muscular and brash in their youth, and not a function of any changes on the part of the house, especially as the 1997 seems to resemble more the great vintages of the 1980s."

On Salon 1997 : "Rating: ***
The 1997 Salon has been strikingly compelling from the moment it was released, which is not to say that it isn't in need of further development to reveal its true complexity and depth, but rather that it demonstrates a balance, elegance and subtlety of character that is quintessentially Salon. [...] On my most recent tasting of this wine, in January of 2009, it seemed slightly creamier and more voluptuous in texture than previous bottles I've experienced, yet still bound by a rigid, almost severe expression of chalky minerality, along with a remarkably firm acidic structure for the vintage that gives it tension, detail and length. It shows a rich depth of aroma on the palate, ranging from fresh apple to stone fruit and even exotic citrus aromas, but these are ultimately dominated by the intense character of the Mesnil terroir. This is surely one of the finest champagnes of the vintage, and terrifically youthful for a 1997 as well. I continue to think that this feels much more classical than the previous three releases of Salon, and I hope to be able to see it develop over the next decade or even further. Last tasted: 1/09"

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