Ruinart lays claim to be the world’s oldest Champagne house (Gosset is older but used to be into still wines for a long time), founded in 1729. It is the legacy of a benedictine monk; Dom Thierry Ruinart, who was a worldly man. He came to know of a “wine with bubbles” which was not yet known as champagne but was growing popular with aristocracy.
He became fairly obsessed with bubbly wines, so much so he would often go back to his family in Champagne and divulge plans to establish production in the area.
Sadly Dom Ruinart died in 1709, but his nephew Nicolas Ruinart took his ideas on board and started the first Champagne House; Maison Ruinart.
The house features a historic set of Cellars – or “Crayéres”, which are cut into the chalk underneath Reims. They are listed as a UNESCO world heritage item – but this has worked against them.
The extensive documentation of the historic cellars allowed the Nazi’s to find every last bottle of Ruinart stock during World War II – so unlike many houses who were able to conceal important stocks behind false walls – Ruinart has no pre-war historic vintages.
Today, we are looking into Ruinart’s famed Blanc de Blancs – at a wedding, no less.
A long running star performer of the Ruinart range, the blend hasn’t changed too much in recent years (there is no need). It is the go to Blanc de Blancs of the LVMH group in my book.
It consistently utilises 20 to 25% reserve wines that are typically 2 years older than the base vintage.
From: Reims, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$99 a bottle available from Heinneman Duty Free
Blend Ratio (%): Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (0/100/0) with 9 g/l Dosage and 20-25% reserves
Aging: Between 3 to 4 years
Sipped: May 2017
In the Glass:
Look: A very soft, pale golden hue and a good, vigorous set of bubbles.
Smell: Zesty hit of lemon rinds, with slight yeast notes and pineapple.
Taste: Ruinart Blanc de Blanc is a very enjoyable wine, showing through with dry, zesty flavour with a solid hit of intense citric sweetness. The depth of the flavour (strength of flavour) is excellent and really hits the tastebuds hard.
Nice, clean acid balance with only a touch of burn on the tongue. A ripper.
Notes: The clear bottle makes this Champagne susceptible to light strike (deterioration via UV) so make sure you keep it in the box!
Party Potential: Ruinart BdB is reaching higher levels of expense for parties, so avoid unless you are sporting a fat wallet or its small and full of people you want to spoil. For BYO – sure it’s pricey but it’s damn memorable – so trot it out in intimate moments.
As a Gift: Ruinart makes a good gift for anyone who appreciates good wine. It comes in a matching box with instructions on how to best keep it so that it is optimum when you want to drink it! I would gift it at the rarer, landmark events or for someone you deem worth the $100 spend.
At Home: Save this one for something very special. An intimate birthday or anniversary.
Matching: With bitey, clean citric notes it would be a waste to not use Ruinart with a plate of oysters and a cold seafood platter.
Score & Verdict:
A refined blonde with a bit of a reputation. Great company, zesty and plenty interesting. You’ll enjoy the moment, and crave more. Surprisingly – not as expensive as they could be.
At $99 I feel it is good value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
Celebrating the wedding banquet of some of my closest friends!
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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