Champagne Ruinart: Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009 Released
© Emma Wellings
'The House of Chardonnay'
Champagne Ruinart likes to see itself as “the house of Chardonnay." Cellar master Frédéric Panaïotis emphasised the special role Chardonnay plays at Champagne Ruinart: “We rely heavily on this variety,” he said. This focus on Chardonnay is the legacy of Ruinart’s former cellar master Bertrand Mure who ran the house in the 1950s and 60s. Mure was a direct descendant of the Ruinart family and the creator of this prestige cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay. Mure first made a Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs in 1959 and named it in honour of Dom Thierry Ruinart, a forebear of the house’s founders. Since the first vintage of 1959, 24 vintages of Dom Ruinart were made. 2009 is the 25th vintage.
Grand Cru Only
Just like the very first Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs in 1959, the 2009 vintage was crafted exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards: 82% from the Côte des Blancs village, Cramant, Avize, Chouilly and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and 18% from the northern slopes of the Montagne de Reims; in Sillery. Panaïotis explained: “We find Chouilly to be a bit fuller, rounder. Avize is a beautiful balance between power and elegance; Mesnil is racy and mineral. And in the Montagne de Reims, the village of Sillery, we love it so much because a lot of the slopes face east and southeast – and Chardonnay loves the morning sun. Chardonnay from Sillery tends to be more powerful, more structured, like a Corton Charlemagne.”
The 2009 Vintage
Talking about the 2009 vintage, Panaïotis emphasised that the year is often misjudged: ““I read so many times that 2009 was a very solar year, but if you look at data, that’s not the case at all. It was not a warm year; it was a dry year.” The grapes for Dom Ruinart 2009 were harvested between September 12th - September 28th. Panaïotis said that both the potential alcohol and acidity levels were “perfect” and above the ten-year-average. “There is liveliness in that Champagne. We reached a good level of maturity without compromising the freshness,” he said.
The wine spent eight years on lees before being disgorged in March 2018 with an extra brut dosage of 4g/l and spent another three years under cork before release in April 2021.
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009
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