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Dom Ruinart cuvées: The origin of their grapes, exclusively Grand Crus, gives these cuvées, a high maturing potential provided that they are aged in optimum conditions of temperature, humidity and darkness, 10, 20 years or more depending on the vintage.
The wine will then take on more toasted, grilled and intense notes and its aromatic profile will develop as the years pass. This is a question of preference. Without exception, a Dom Ruinart cuvée is excellent from the day it is purchased.
The chardonnay is the very soul of Ruinart. The grape, mainly harvested from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims terroirs, is at the heart of all our cuvées.
The ephemeral, delicate structure of this vintage combined with outstanding freshness, typical of the House, offers the potential to complement very sophisticated dishes such as sea bream ceviche Peruvian style, or a lobster carpaccio with lemon caviar and coriander oil.
The optimum Ruinart temperature?
Since sparkling wines from Champagne first appeared in the early XVIIIth Century, they have been drunk fairly cold, between 6 and 8 degrees. So for over a century, bottles of Ruinart have been served in elegant little containers called "champagne coolers" or in silver or porcelain buckets that are always full of water and ice. The ice was collected during the winter and stored in ice cellars.
Around 1830, it became fashionable to drink champagne frappé: very cold, at 2 or 3 degrees. This was a time when wine had a lot of sugar added, which did not ferment, and cooling toned down its sweet flavour. The bottle was served in a bucket filled with ice but no water, sometimes even plunged up to its neck in a mixture of crushed iced and potash or salts.
Today, we have returned to the customs of early champagne enthusiasts and enjoy our champagne at between 6 and 9 degrees.
As a guide:
* "R" de Ruinart, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Ruinart Rosé should be opened at a temperature of between 6 and 8 degrees so that it can be drunk at between 8 and 10 degrees.
* A vintage Ruinart should be opened at between 8 and 10 degrees and drunk at between 10 and 12.
* Dom Ruinart Blanc: opened at between 9 and 11 degrees and drunk at between 11 and 13.
* Dom Ruinart Rosé: opened at between 9 and 12 degrees and drunk at between 11 and 14.
These guidelines can be adapted to the circumstances. On a terrace in summer, a flute of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs will naturally be served very cold. Time and preference will guide the decision...
Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.