Ruinart is a low profile, yet select, Champagne house which is steeped in history. It dates back to the 17th century, the time of the famous Dom Pérignon. It was founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart in the city of Reims, the year after a Royal Decree in 1728 whereby Louis XV gave his consent for sparkling wines to be shipped in baskets containing 50 to 100 bottles. This opened the gates of Europe to champagne and thus makes Ruinart the oldest Champagne House. Nicolas' uncle was Dom Thierry Ruinart, close friend to Dom Pérignon himself and an inspiration behind the creation of this house after the Dom’s death. Its Gallo-Roman chalk cellars are now a UNESCO-classified historical monument and every two years the finest sommeliers in Europe gather there to compete for the Trophée Ruinart.
Since the Second World War the house has become synonymous with class and its production of only 1.7 million bottles per annum is small compared to other grande marques. It is now part of the LVMH group that also owns Moët & Chandon.
The house style emphasises the pre-eminence of Chardonnay over Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The 'R' de Ruinart NV contains 40% Chardonnay minimum, with 25% reserve wines. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, sourced predominantly from Premier Cru vineyards, while Ruinart Brut Rosé is typically 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot, of which 18% is red wine, so following the assemblage, rather than the saignée method of rosé production.
The Dom Ruinart range, named for the spiritual father of the House, represents the prestige cuvées of the house. Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is a Grand Cru Chardonnay, predominantly from the Côte des Blancs (70%) and the remainder from the Montagne de Reims.
Dom Ruinart Rosé champagne has the same basis as the Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay) to which 15%-20% red wine (Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Verzy) has been added. These are amazingly rich and pure in youth developing red Burgundian notes with long ageing such as in the 1988 or 1990 vintages.
The grape, mainly harvested from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims terroirs, is at the heart of all the cuvées. With its fresh aromas, vivacity, purity and luminosity, the Chardonnay is the essence of Ruinart.
The delicate, fragile Chardonnay will only display the full breadth of its aromatic richness after a slow maturation in the coolness of the Crayères (chalk cellars): up to 3 years for non-vintage wines, and 9 to 10 years for a Dom Ruinart. This maturation is a test of the Cellar Master's skill, required to tame the capriciousness of this grape unlike any other.
Pale, golden-yellow colour with subtle green glints and wonderful luminosity, a persistent stream of fine and delicate bubbles. A nose of frech fruits dominated by citrus fruit and pineapple mixed with notes of white flowers and spices (ginger and cardamom).
A superb Blanc de Blancs with a clean, pure and well-defined palate. The attack is supple and full-bodied giving way to a superb, very refreshing finish of white peach and citron notes.