2002 Ruinart "Dom Ruinart" Brut Rosé Champagne
The 2002 Dom Ruinart Rosé bursts across the palate with superb intensity and plenty of 2002 vintage opulence. Pomegranate, blood orange, red cherry, spice and white pepper are all very much alive in the glass. A rich, intense wine, the 2002 possesses terrific persistence and fabulous overall balance. The aromatics are just starting to show hints of development, but the 2002 has the pure density to drink well for many, many years. The vivid, crystalline finish is a thing of beauty. The 2002 is 80% Chardonnay (the Dom Ruinart base) with the addition of 20% still Pinot, mostly from Sillery with a dollop of Verzenay. Dosage is 5 grams per liter. Drinking window: 2014 - 2032. Ruinart is unusual among Champagne houses in that the overwhelming majority of the production is still sold in France. Perhaps because of that, Ruinart does not enjoy the same visibility as many of its peers. The wines, though, are magnificent. As always, the Ruinart Champagnes are done entirely in steel, with full malo. Dom Ruinart stands out from most other Blancs de Blancs for its powerful, broad texture, much of which comes from the significant presence of Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims. The production cycles in Champagne are always a bit shocking relative to the norm in other regions. Chef de Caves Frédéric Panaiotis arrived in 2007, but it will still be another few years before we taste his Dom Ruinarts!
Richly aromatic, with smoky mineral, roasted nut and toasted brioche notes, this is elegant and harmonious on the palate, displaying lively, focused acidity, a fine bead and flavors of strawberry pâte de fruit, pastry cream, white peach and ground spice. Drink now through 2027.
This Champagne is composed of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, all from Grand Cru sites. The Chardonnay is sourced both from the Cote des Blancs and the Mountain or Reims, and it is this Mountain of Reims Chardonnay that gives the subtle exoticism that is the signature of the house style. The Pinot Noir in the blend is vinified red, and sourced from north facing vineyards in Sillery and Verzenay, giving the Champagne plenty of authority without sacrificing its energy. Ruinart is a proponent of stainless steel fermentation and in the case of this rose, very long sur-lee ageing, perhaps the longest in the category of tete de cuvee roses. -Gary Westby, K&L