OK, OK, so I am splashing out big time this week. Well, all in a good cause as Valentine's Day is coming up next week and you may want to celebrate with something extra special and bubbly. What could be better than this elegant Blanc de Blancs Champagne from Ruinart — one of the oldest Champagne Houses.
It has a very attractive mid-gold color with tiny persistent bubbles rising to the top of the glass. This Champagne offers a delicious combination of richness, finesse, complexity and freshness. It has a delightfully 'biscuity' nose, showing intense aromas of toasty brioche with delicate fresh herbs, green apple, floral notes and a distinctive chalky minerality. The mousse is remarkably fine on the palate, which is nicely taut, with an energetic tension between the lively pinprick bubbles, the racy acidity and the high intensity of flavors that completely fill the mouth. It is a relatively full-bodied Champagne with very long length and a lively, minerally finish. Overall, it is tight-knit, well structured and refined.
At the Table: I am all for enjoying Champagne throughout a meal. While this Ruinart Blanc de Blancs can certainly be enjoyed on its own, it has the fuller body, crisp acidity, complexity and depth of flavor to stand up to a variety of dishes, especially fish and seafood. Some of my favorites are broiled lobster, Dungeness crab, pan-fried black sole or simply a dozen freshly shucked oysters.
About Champagne Ruinart and their NV Blanc de Blancs
Ruinart is one of Champagne's oldest houses. In 1729 'Maison Ruinart' was founded by Nicholas Ruinart, the nephew of Dom Ruinart — the other famous Champagne "Dom" — a scholarly Benedictine monk credited for so much of the early viticulture progress in Champagne.
Ruinart is especially famous for its Blanc de Blancs Champagne — a style of Champagne made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, sourced from top vineyard sites in both the Côtes des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims areas of Champagne. After the second fermentation in bottle, the NV Blanc de Blancs Champagne rests on its lees for almost four years, in Ruinart's cool Gallo Roman chalk cellars deep beneath the city of Reims, before being disgorged and prepared for sale. It is a brut style of Champagne with a dosage level of about 9g/l.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne
(Image: Via Riddle & Finns)