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News

If ever visiting Champagne the cellars of Ruinart are a must. They were the first house to utilise the ancient Roman chalk pits (crayeres) to mature and age their champagnes. With the oldest dating from the 3rd.century, the 24 roman pits extend for 8 kilometres and up to 34 metres deep, these white, cathedral-like tunnels offer the ideal conditions for fermenting and maturing Champagne. In 1931 they became the only cellars to be declared a national monument.

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History

Ruinart's history dates back to the 17th Century, founded by Nicolas Ruinart. It is a tale of two Dom's, Dom Ruinart and Dom Perignon, close friends, Dom Thierry Ruinart Nicolas's uncle.

Established in 1729, Ruinart has the distinction of being the oldest Champagne house. Founded by wealthy cloth merchant Nicolas Ruinart who was inspired by his uncle the benedictine monk Dom Thierry Ruinart, a close friend and contemporary of Dom Perignon. Initially the champagne produced was given away to Nicolas's wealthy clients as a reward for purchasing his cloth and fabrics, however when the demand became so great, it was clear what direction the company was to take. In 1735 they abandoned the cloth trade, to concentrate on the burgeoning champagne trade.

 

Ruinart is now owned by LVMH and sits neatly in their portfolio of impressive Champagne houses, with a production of only 1.7 million bottles per annum, relatively speaking Ruinart is a small producer and has a surprisingly low profile. 
 

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Vineyards

Ruinart is a Chardonnay dominant house. Chardonnay is the least planted of the three key varieties in Champagne and can often be one of the most difficult to source. Ruinart own just 10% of their vineyards but have long standing contracts to help meet their requirements. It can be a delicate and fragile variety, however it is the golden thread that runs through all of Ruinart's cuvées. Sourcing Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims in particular from the villages of Sillery and Puisieulx, provide extra depth, dimension and roundness to the wines. While the Chardonnay sourced from the greatest sites of the Cote des Blancs add a mineral elegance and intensity. It is the judicious blending of these different areas that help to make the greatest expressions of Blanc de Blancs in both the non-vintage and prestige 'Dom Ruinart' cuvées.

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Winemaking

Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis described his methods as the antithesis of the Krug or Bollinger styles seeking instead 'fresh aromas, vivacity, purity and luminosity'. It is the essence that has made Ruinart one of the benchmarks for Chardonnay. However, to achieve aromatic richness and depth of flavour requires long ageing in the cellars which is why Ruinart's non-vintage blends will receive a minimum of 3 years, while the Dom Ruinart will be aged for 9-10 years.
All wines go through full malo-lactic fermentation with a high percentage of reserve wines used in the non-vintage blends. The level of dosage has been gradually reduced over the years as part of their ongoing commitment to producing the highest quality Champagnes possible.

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Inside information

Dom Ruinart by Richard Juhlin

According to a variety of sources, the monk Dom Ruinart had almost the same significance during his lifetime as his good friend Dom Pérignon, the man who was described long afterwards as the father of champagne. Thierry Ruinart (1657-1709), a Benedictine monk from Reims, provided his nephew Nicolas Ruinart with sufficient knowledge to be able to establish the first Champagne House in 1729. The company soon became successful on widely varied export markets, and it was frequently visited on account of its deep, exceptionally beautiful limestone cellars, today classed as a historical monument. Deep down in these cellars, several of the world’s foremost sommeliers competed in the prestige-filled contest Trophée Ruinart.

It was not until as recently as 1959 that the House made its first prestige champagne which logically enough was a blanc de blancs from the company’s own grand cru vineyards, presented in an old-fashioned, broad-beamed bottle with a narrow neck, practically identical to those used by the monks. The fantastic Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé wines are made in an antioxidative (reductive) style, and their basic wine is the same as that in the cuvée. The red wine additive of about 15% Pinot Noir comes from their own vineyards at Sillery and Verzenay as well as the unknown grand cru village Puisieulx in Montagne de Reims. The thing that makes Dom Ruinart different from for example Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne and other high class multi-cru blanc de blancs, such as Pol Roger, Billecart-Salmon and Roederer Blanc de Blancs, is that apart from its basic wine from grand cru villages in the Côte des Blancs, a fairly high proportion of Chardonnay from Pinot villages has also been included. Of these villages, Sillery with its tough, smoky minerality and well-structured body stands for the lion’s share. This makes Dom Ruinart unique and personal. Apart from this fact, it should be noted that since they have been incorporated into the LVMH group, the same yeast is being used as in Dom Pérignon, which is a logical part of the explanation as to why Dom Ruinart is considered by certain people as being a Dom Pérignon Blanc de Blancs, which is a thing that they are naturally not striving for but that has also been my conclusion in a number of blind tastings. An interesting detail is that the young winemaker Fred Panaiotis comes from Veuve Clicquot where it was prophesied that he would be Jacques Peter’s successor, before the plans were suddenly changed. Veuve Clicquot’s house style is quite different from that represented by Ruinart.

The main difference is that Clicquot’s masculinely powerful style is purposely oxidative. The readjustment for Fred was great and dramatic, but it feels as though he, as one of the most talented winemakers I’ve met, has very quickly found his way style-wise. Fred is incredibly open to impulses, and he learns new things in a flash. I myself tasted quite a lot of Dom Ruinart with him during his first months at the House, and carried on deep analytical discussions based on my great tasting experience, so that he would be able to understand as rapidly as possible what a great, classical Dom Ruinart should be like. This is the kind of thing that only he who wants to be best will do, not leaving anything to chance! Fred is trying to express purity and minerality by blending the most elegant Chardonnay from the Côtes des Blancs with the more powerful version of the same type of grape from the northern Montagne de Reims. He sees the rosé version as a blanc de blancs rosé that offers a unique and paradoxical complexity through its long storage, a complexity in which the nose is distinctly reminiscent of a great red Burgundy, interwoven with an unbelievably pure and invigorating taste.

For those of you who enjoy elegant champagne with chalky minerality, citrus aroma and stringent acids backed up by a toasted character reminiscent of Charles Heidsieck, Belle Epoque and Dom Pérignon, Dom Ruinart Blanc is going to be a big favourite. For those of you who love the most feminine of the Burgundy red wines such as Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses from Roumier or Griotte-Chambertin from Ponsot, while not having anything against gentle creamy silkiness and a splash of champagne bubbles inflated with minerality, a twenty year old Dom Ruinart Rosé should be a heavenly experience. Champagne Magazine/ Richard Juhlin

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13 different wines with 97 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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 Ruinart  has updated producer and wine information

3m 26d ago

 Antonio Galloni, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  26 wines 

The NV Brut Grande Cuvée Grand Siècle No. 24 (Magnum) is ethereal and beautifully lifted. White flowers, mint, white pepper and green orchard fruit all grace this exquisite, super-expressive Champagne. I would cellar the No. 24, as it is pretty tight today and also not ready to deliver the full Grand Siècle experience. The blend is 2007 (60%), 2006 (20%) and 2004 (20%), three vintages that are especially complementary. Disgorged May 27, 2019. 

7m 7d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  198 wines 

Wow, the 100 Best Champagnes ranking for 2021 is launched. It was such a pleasure to be part of the tasting panel and experience the great overall quality of all the champagnes. Such a superb line-up from prestige champagnes to non-vintages from Grands Maisons to growers and coops. Where there any surprises? Hell yes, check out the rankings and you'll see!

9m 18d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  25 wines 

The 5th day of Champagne Magazines annual The 100-Best Champagnes of the year 2020 -tasting!

10m 22d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  47 wines 

Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru 2017
Incredible intensity and depth in this Montrachet in 2017. Focused, complex with layers of toasted nuts, white flowers and lots of minerals. Wonderful example of this grand cru vineyard. The wine stands out as clearly the most complex and intense from Sauzet. From 50-60 year old vines; only 4 barrels made.


99 points

11m 10d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  47 wines 

100 Best Champagne semifinals continue.... Some great surprises, such as Alfred Gratien Brut Millésime 2007!

11m 19d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  2 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  21 wines 

New year's eve brought me a real challenge: I was asked to name a number of "regular" Brut Champagne of renowned houses to be recommended for the readers of a German newspaper. As I had only two hours to answer, I realized I should taste some of the well known names in the new year to get an overview what is available in the market for non vintage Brut and Rosé. The tasting showed some surprises, a quite high level and a quite homogenous one as well. Therefore the blind tasting, hold with some wine friends in Berlin, was not only work but provided some fun too.

1y 7m ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  11 wines 

The true luxury champagne is the one that captures your full attention and makes you step off the treadmill to take a meditative moment with the champagne. The richness of its taste is limitless. Each sip peels new layeres of flavours and the aftertaste feels like neverending. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1986 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 1979 were excellent examples of luxury champagnes at their best. Dom Pérignon 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée 167 Edition will be there one day, and I believe with even bigger trigger.

1y 7m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  72 wines 

Champagne Magazines 100 Best Champagnes 2020 -tasting day III.

1y 8m ago

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Cristal 1982 / Disgorged in 1987. A dream vintage, after 1980 and 1981 – catastrophic because of very low quantity. High quantity and high quality (like Bordeaux). Med pH 65% PN, 35% Chardonnay. 23% oak fermentation.


Lovely truffley fully developed nose. Tightly wound and very intriguing. Rich underneath. Very flattering and gorgeous. Finishes a little skinnier. Lots of mushrooms on the palate. Long. Quite rich really Very much a wine rather than a champagne, with some real weight. Very fine and neat and dense. Perhaps slightly less concentrated than the 1990 and 1996.

1y 9m ago

 Antonio Galloni, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  30 wines 

The 1996 Cristal Vinothèque is a magnificent, towering Champagne. Bright and yet deep, with tremendous flavor intensity, the 1996 is a real stunner. The flavors are remarkably pure and crystalline, with tons of energy that gives the citrus and floral character its vibrancy. I have been fortunate to taste the 1996 a few times in the past. This is its best showing yet. The 1996 Cristal Vinothèque spent ten years on its lees, flat (sur latte), and another four years upside down (sur pointe), the first period to get a slight oxygenation, and the second to bring the wine back into a slightly reductive state. Dosage is 7 grams per liter, using a custom liqueur made from bottled wine and liqueur, as opposed to the Cristal from cask that is used for the first release of Cristal and Cristal Rosé.

1y 9m ago

 Dirk Niepoort / Niepoort, Wine Maker (Portugal)  tasted  1 wines  from  Ruinart . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Champagne Magazines The 100 Best Champagne 2020 -tasting!

2y 1m ago

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