An Exploration of Champagne Ruinart Roses

Apr 22, 15 An Exploration of Champagne Ruinart Roses

Posted by in Champagne

“Champagne is best drunk between 9 am and 9 am the next day…” according to Ruinart Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis. I couldn’t agree more, which is how I found myself one Friday morning in Mayfair ready for a tasting of Ruinart’s rosés going  back to the 1980’s. The morning was dedicated to an exploration of Ruinart’s rosés. According the tasting notes, …”Ruinart is recognised by many as a reference for Blanc de Blanc Champagne and the Rosé wines in its portfolio contain a high percentage of Chardonnay grapes.  Frédéric describes the Ruinart Rosé as “A harmonious blending of two grape varieties, that gives a silky generous feeling on the palate.  The Chardonnay provides exceptional aromatic freshness while the Pinot Noir offers intense colour and delicate red fruits with an unexpected hint of exotic fruits…” I enjoy vertical tastings very much because it’s a chance to see how wines evolve and champagne is no different. We started with their NV rosé as a benchmark to see how the wines evolve over the years. This NV is full of berries and even has a few tropical notes to it. Fred noted that they are hoping to achieve an aromatic style of champagne, bursting with raspberry and strawberry. Fred says this is a rosé for jacuzzis, I’ll have to take his word for it! As we went through the wines, we went from Dom Ruinart 2002, 1998, 1996, 1990 and finished off with the Dom Ruinart 1988. The 2002 was still vibrant and pale pink in colour, still very aromatic on the nose. It was when we got to the 1990’s that the rosés began to turn darker in hue, almost onion skin in colour. The champagnes were also spicer and full of candied fruits on the nose and palate. By the time we go to the Dom Ruinart 1990, we were getting into Christmas pudding territory on the nose, with hints of dates, mushrooms and figs. This is definitely a food wine. Fred recommended this...

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Launch of the 2004 Dom Ruinart Blanc de blanc

Jul 10, 14 Launch of the 2004 Dom Ruinart Blanc de blanc

Posted by in Champagne

Champagne just seems to be coming out of my ears at the moment (not a bad thing in my opinion). Earlier this week I attended an informal tasting with Frederic Panaiotis, cellar master of the house. It was the first tasting of the 2004 Dom Ruinart Blanc de blanc in the UK so we all felt very priviledged. Fred came bounding into the room, slightly wet as he had walked from his hotel to meet us at the offices of LVMH. While we had been waiting for Fred, we had sipped on Ruinart’s NV Blanc de blanc, which is always a light and delightful champagne. It is one of my favourites. Once Fred had a glass of the 2004 in his hand, he told us a bit about Ruinart’s champagne making philosophy. He compared the NV Blanc de blanc as a wine of teamwork – he and his team make the champagne. The Dom Ruinart Blanc de blanc however, is a champagne that is made by nature. Fred remarked that it is the easiest but also the scariest as it is a true expression of the vintage. It is really the year that drives the champagne. The grapes used all come from Grand Cru vineyards which means grapes of a much better quality. As we tasted the 2004, Fred described it as a wine still evolving, changing developing every day. Fred joked that he’s lucky enough to be able to try it most days. Lucky him! As for me, I thought the 2004 was quite a substantial champagne, full of toasty, bready notes, quite vibrant on the palate with a long finish. I think this vintage has quite a bit of life to go and will be interesting to see how it develops.   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Ruinart 2002 lunch

This week marked the beginning of Spring and I am so ready to say goodbye to winter! What better way to celebrate then with  the launch of the Dom Ruinart 2002. Oh, yeah! Ruinart have a very distinctive bottle shape and it’s easy to spot one across a crowded room. I am a sucker for design but what’s in the bottle is just as distinctively designed. One of the qualities I most admire about champagne is the concept of assemblage.  Having spent a fair amount of time around vineyards both in Champagne and in other wine producing regions, I think that to blend champagne must be one of the most difficult things to do (no disrespect to other wine makers as I know how hard producers work to coax wine from the vine).  The cellar master uses base wines (which are thin and acidic forerunners of the wine to come) from various vintages and is able to foresee how that wine is going to transform into champagne after going through not one but two fermentations and then spending a minimum of 3yrs in a cold dark cellar laying on a sediment of dead yeast cells. Incredible and yet, the Champenois manage to produce their amazing champagnes year in and year out. Ruinart Chef de Cave Frederic Panaiotis pointed out that for Ruinart, the quality they most desire is a refined timelessness and elegance while at the same time not becoming a boring champagne which never changes with the vintages. He said that when they work on blending the wine they pay particular attention to the mouthfeel, weight and softness in the mouth while at the same time ensuring that they are making a lively and flexible champagne. He likened their champagne to alpaca wool, instant luxury and quality combined which, although you don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate, does help. The complexity and depth of the champagne is a pleasure for experts but it also has an immediate appeal and he says...

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