Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
The wine is a brilliant orange-yellow rose petal color with a very fine, profuse and sustained mousse. The nose is characterized by small red berries, mainly currant. On the palate the wine is vigorous and well balanced. A fine, fresh, fruity wine with well-integrated tannins and a hint of spice on the lengthy finish.
Ruinart Rosé is produced from a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from the best of recent vintages. All of the fruit is from premiers crus vineyards. Grapes from the estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont (ancestral home of the Ruinart family) are joined by carefully selected grapes from other premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The grapes for Ruinart are selected basket by basket at the source, and only the finest premiers crus are used.
Wine Spectator - "A pretty rosé, harmonious and lithe, with flavors of dried strawberry and smoke carrying on a fine bead and intermingling with the accents of toasted almond, ground anise, pastry and dried apricot. Fresh and focused, presenting a lasting finish of smoke, ripe fruit and rich pastry. Drink now through 2021."
Wine & Spirits - "Fragrant with raspberry and hibiscus, this is a vibrant rose. Light pink in color, the wine has touches of sweetness that don't get in the way of its powerful personality. It shares the Middle Eastern spice notes of the Blanc de Blancs, here matched with delicate red fruit. Pour it with lacquered duck."
Ruinart is the oldest producer of champagne, officially founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, who was the nephew of the monk Dom Thierry Ruinart. This was the dawn of champagne – prior to 25 May 1728, the wine of champagne was not allowed to be commercially transported in bottles.
Nicolas Ruinart passed the management of his champagne house progressively throughout the 1760s to his very capable son, Claude, who was to hold the reins for the next thirty years. It was Claude Ruinart who entered the nobility, when he was created seigneur [lord] de Brimont. Brimont was known then as it is now as an exceptional source for champagne grapes. It was also Claude who had the foresight to purchase the first of the crayères, the underground chalk quarries left by the Romans.
Claude was succeeded by his son Irénée, who sold his champagne to rulers throughout Europe, and notably to the Empress Josephine. It was Edmond, the son of Irénée, who exported champagne to the young United States, meeting President Jackson at the White House in 1831. Throughout the centuries of its lively history, Champagne Ruinart has continued to grow in renown, even as production remains limited by their demands for quality, and distribution is limited by the size of the domestic (French) market. As always, it is known first for the quality of its wines and for their finesse, based on the exceptional Chardonnay grapes that provide its backbone. View all Ruinart Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.