1998 Ruinart "Dom Ruinart" Brut Rosé Champagne
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(85% chardonnay from grand crus in the Cotes des Blancs and Montagne de Reims and 15% grand cru pinot noir from Sillery and Verzenay that was made as still wine and blended into the final cuvee; Lot AGBEA0): Orange-pink. Pungent aromas of dried red berries, orange zest and buttered toast, with a suave floral overtone. The palate offers smoky, expansive strawberry and candied citrus fruit flavors, plus suggestions of rose pastille, brioche and iodine. Finishes smoky, spicy and very long, with excellent clarity and an echo of juicy red berries. (JR)
Subtle power is masked by grace of form in this elegant rosé. Smoke and mineral notes underscore dried black cherry, pomegranate and raspberry sorbet fruit flavors, while hints of creamy pastry and marzipan are enlivened by finely honed acidity. Drink now through 2028.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Ruinart 1998 Brut Rose Dom Ruinart I sampled was noticeably marked in texture and complexity by both its long stay on the lees and considerable time in bottle, not to mention by its significant share of red wine. Sour cherry and rhubarb, rose hip and geranium, smoky black tea and old leather, grapefruit zest and sea water combine for an aromatic performance whose counterpart on a still very sappy and vivacious yet expansive and richly textured palate is satisfyingly long-lasting. The roughly 15% of red Pinot added here to what is essentially the same cuvee as the white Dom Ruinart of its vintage received a longer fermentation on its skins than applied to Ruinart’s “regular” rose, which may be one reason for the nutty, meaty depth that comes out in the finish. It certainly helps explain the invigorating sense of apple skin chew and cherry pit piquancy. As so often in the realm of prestige rose, one is being asked to pay an enormous premium vis-a-vis the corresponding white wine, but in this instance you’re also paying for considerable additional aging. And this impressive bottling could easily remain so for several more years. (DS)