Among the great Champagne houses, Ruinart has always kept a relatively low profile, quietly getting on with the business of producing exquisite and delectable Champagnes. Yet it has a legacy like no other in the champagne region, as it can lay claim to being the oldest established house, producing Champagne since 1729. In that year, Nicolas Ruinart realized the dreams of his uncle, Dom Thierry Ruinart, and founded a small house in Reims. Dom Thierry Ruinart was a close friend of none other than Champagne’s father – Dom Pérignon – and his guidance ensured that the house had the best start possible. We also have the French King Louis XV to thank for the Champagne we enjoy today, for his royal decree in 1728 allowed Champagne to be transported in a bottle; before this, the wine had to be transported in barrels, which invariably meant long-distance customers would enjoy flat Champagne!
Ruinart shipped its first vintage in 1730. At first, the wines were a gift for cloth purchasers involved with Dom Ruinart’s brother; 6 years later, the success of the Champagne sales meant that the family could focus solely on wine production. The house went from strength to strength and crucially remained in family control throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Nicolas passed stewardship to his son Claude and subsequently his grandson Irénée. He did much to build the success of Ruinart, creating a loyal following amongst the courts of Europe, and the American president Andrew Jackson was known to favor Ruinart. The family kept control through the first half of the 20th century, enduring two World Wars that put great strain on the business. Shells hit the company offices during the First World War, but the present owner Andre Ruinart soldiered on regardless, even using a floating office in his ruined cellars. Sadly, financial necessity demanded the outside help of the Rothschild family of Chateau Lafite fame, and in 1963, complete control finally passed to Moët & Chandon.
Although Ruinart is now part of the LVMH empire, the present owners have thankfully let the winemakers continue making superb wines with little interference. Chardonnay has always been an important part of the blending equation here, and the wines are refined and powerful. The vintage brut is consistently the best of its kind, and the rose offers wonderful complexity and finesse like no other Champagne. A very special introduction to the history and legacy of Champagne indeed.
R de Ruinart Brut NV
40% Chardonnay, a varying blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Maturation in bottle.
R de Ruinart Brut Vintage
A varying blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Maturation in oak barrels and bottle. Only produced in excellent years.
Ruinart Blancs de Blancs Brut
NV 100% Chardonnay from Premier Cru vineyards in the Champagne region. Maturation in oak barrels and bottle.
Ruinart Brut Rose NV
45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot Noir blended with small quantities of red wine to produce a rose style. Maturation in oak barrels and bottle.
Dom Ruinart Blancs De Blancs Vintage
100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru Vineyards in the Champagne region. Only produced in outstanding years with extended maturation in oak barrels and bottle.
Dom Ruinart Rose Vintage
75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir. Only produced in outstanding years from Grand Cru Vineyards in the Champagne region. Years with extended maturation in oak barrels and bottle.
Rue des Crayeres
Tel +33 (0) 03 26 77 51 51
Fax +33 (0) 03 26 89 53 95
- Area under vine
- 576 hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+
- Oak barrel origin
- Jean Francois Barot
- LVMH group
- 200,000 cases per annum
- Grape varietals
- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier