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New Release: Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009
There was no Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2008. Although a stunning vintage, it was slightly more Pinot Noir dominant, so not as suited to the Dom Ruinart style.
Interestingly, from the 2010 vintage onwards, all Dom Ruinart vintages will be kept on cork with an agrafe closure (a traditional agrafe closure is essentially a large metal clip used to secure the cork during second fermentation). So there will be some style changes, as the champagne will be interacting with cork, rather than a metal closure, whilst in the cellars. Mechanical disgorgement is also being dropped for the prestige cuvée, which, from 2010 onwards, will be disgorged by hand.
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009, reflects the vintage characteristics of 2009, an exceptional vintage year for chardonnay. The millimetric vinification, and the long ageing time, make Dom Ruinart an exceptional champagne marked by freshness, complexity, and power mastered with accuracy and elegance.
2009 in Champagne has been described as a “golden” year. Despite the extreme summer drought, the climate remains temperate and the grapes ripen in ideal conditions. This is what allows the vintage to retain notes of intense freshness. Above all, it was marked by a summery harvest. The beginning of the growth cycle was a little more complicated. We saw gale force winds, hail, heavy rainfall (60% up in terms of the 10-year average) and cold snaps while the vines were in bloom. Luckily, summer weather took over until September, allowing for consistent ripening in optimal conditions. Apart from warm and sunny, the days were particularly dry with 40% less rainfall compared to previous years. Thanks to these favourable conditions, grapes reached an optimum physiological ripeness with harvest taking place between September 12th and September 28th.
It was the year 1959 that had the privilege Of the first cuvée Dom Ruinart, a blanc de blancs developed as an ode to the great Chardonnays, which was then released in 1966.
A rosé Cuvée Dom Ruinart soon followed with the 1966 vintage, which went on to be sold in 1973.
This warm year started with a cold winter and mild spring temperatures. Early summer was variable but August and September provided ample sunshine and warmth contributing to fine grape health. Pinot Noir especially excelled. Grape harvest, of generally high sugar content yet soft acidity, started on September 8th. 2009 is a year of generous wines that showed well early. An apt example of a vintage of the recent era, in which retaining freshness poses more problems than attaining ripeness. Good grape health contributed to the overall quality, and despite the richness of the wines, heaviness did not end up being an issue. There is quite some heterogenity amongst the year's produce but the best seem truly age-worthy. The vintage's finest include Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Dom Pérignon and Philipponnat Clos des Goisses.