is a low profile, yet select, Champagne
house which is steeped in history. It dates back to the 17th century, the time of the famous Dom Pérignon
. It was founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart in the city of Reims, the year after a Royal Decree in 1728 whereby Louis XV gave his consent for sparkling wines to be shipped in baskets containing 50 to 100 bottles. This opened the gates of Europe to champagne and thus makes Ruinart
the oldest Champagne House.
Nicolas' uncle was Dom Thierry Ruinart, close friend to Dom Pérignon himself and an inspiration behind the creation of this house after the Dom’s death. Its Gallo-Roman chalk cellars are now a UNESCO-classified historical monument and every two years the finest sommeliers in Europe gather there to compete for the Trophée Ruinart.
Since the second world war the house has become synonymous with class and its production of only 1.7 million bottles per annum is small compared to other grande marques. It is now part of the LVMH group that also owns Moët & Chandon
The house style emphasises the pre-eminence of Chardonnay
over Pinot Noir
and Pinot Meunier.
The 'R' de Ruinart NV
contains 40% Chardonnay minimum, with 25% reserve wines. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
is 100% Chardonnay, sourced predominantly from Premier Cru vineyards, while Ruinart Brut Rosé
is typically 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot, of which 18% is red wine, so following the assemblage, rather than the saignée method of rosé production.
The Dom Ruinart range, named for the spiritual father of the House, represents the prestige cuvées of the house. Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
is a Grand Cru Chardonnay
, predominantly from the Côte des Blancs (70%) and the remainder from the Montagne de Reims.
Dom Ruinart Rosé
champagne has the same basis as the Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay) to which 15%-20% red wine (Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Verzy) has been added. These are amazingly rich and pure in youth developing red Burgundian notes with long ageing such as in the 1988 or 1990 vintages.