Ruinart has a long history in Champagne; in fact, longer than any other Champagne house. On 6 July at Luca, guests got to experience first hand what makes Ruinart so special in a dinner sponsored by BlackBeard’s.
Many people might not realise this, but Ruinart is the oldest champagne house in the world, founded in 1729.
Thanks to the vision of a Benedictine monk, Dom Ruinart, and his conviction that ‘wine with bubbles’ had a promising future, Ruinart has become a name synonymous with celebrations and excellent taste. Twenty years after Dom Ruinart’s death, his nephew Nicholas founded Maison Ruinart, forever guaranteeing the family name a place in the history books.
Blackbeard’s recently hosted a Champagne dinner at Luca Restaurant that took attendees through an evening of sumptuous food and a selection of Ruinart champagnes. Lee Quessy, sommelier and wine sales representative, opened the evening with a talk about the history of Ruinart and the Chardonnay grape, the heart of what makes the “Ruinart taste” so unique, and thus the dinner began.
Executive Chef Federico Destro created a menu to beautifully compliment each glass of champagne. An amuse bouche was served; a spoonful of local snapper ceviche and foie gras mousse with pistachios and fig. This was followed by an appetiser of jumbo scallop carpaccio, lime avocado puree, micro greens, Hawaiian red sea salt and scotch bonnet infused olive oil. It was a delicious start to the evening, and was accompanied by Ruinart Brut.
Ruinart Brut is the very first expression of the Ruinart taste, the epitome of freshness and balance and perfect for all occasions.
The blend is made up of 40 per cent Chardonnay, 57 per cent Pinot Noir and three per cent Pinot Meunier, 20 to 25 per cent of which are wines reserved from the two previous years.
The Champagne is vibrant, exhibiting a clear yellow colour with golden reflections.
At first the nose is delicate, fresh and fruity, filled with white-fleshed fruits such as pears, apples and apricots, as well as hazelnuts and fresh almonds. The second nose reveals superb olfactory intensity on a more biscuity, brioche-like base.
Brut is a balanced, rounded and full-bodied Champagne with flavours of ripe fruits and a long finish. It’s a perfect champagne for aperitifs, whatever the occasion, or it can also be served with light starters such as poached oysters and seared scallops, or with a main dish such as sole meunière. It is also excellent with creamy cheeses.
Blanc de Blancs
This first sampling of Ruinart was met with hearty approval by all, and as the plates were cleared away, so the mid-course was served; roasted beetroot ravioli, sautéed rock shrimps and cauliflower mousse. Quessy once again gave a brief introduction to the next offering from Ruinart, the ‘Blanc de Blancs’, one of his personal favourites.
The emblem of the Ruinart taste, Blanc de Blancs embodies purity of the Chardonnay grapes, from which it is made exclusively. Made primarily with Premiers Crus from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims terroirs, it is intensely aromatic.
In the glass, it displayed persistent bubbles and a beautiful pale golden yellow colour with gentle green reflections.
It was initially very intense on the nose, with fresh fruit notes, particularly ripe citrus fruits. It also had a second refined floral nose with notes of white flowers and fruits like white peaches and pineapple.
On the palate, Blanc de Blancs showed excellent freshness with flavours of nectarines, citrus fruits with a pleasant mineral quality in the finish.
This is a Champagne made for Cayman’s climate and cuisine.
Jodie Petts, wine sales manager, and Hugh Treadwell, managing director, were also in attendance for BlackBeard’s and both spoke to the quality and popularity of Ruinart. Although the name may not be as familiar as more highly marketed Champagnes, it seems that anyone who tries Ruinart instantly becomes a convert thanks to its taste and quality.
After a breather and discussions about the remarkable Blanc de Blancs it was time for the main course. This consisted of roasted veal loin medallions, crispy sweetbreads, potato roesti and a mustard lemon sauce. To accompany the main, bottles of Dom Ruinart 1998 were revealed and served to an appreciative group.
Dom Ruinart 1998
A tribute to the Ruinart taste, Dom Ruinart 1998 is made using 100 per cent Grand Cru Chardonnay grapes exclusively from the Côte des Blancs and the northern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, the historic soil for Maison Ruinart assemblages.
This 1998 vintage has great acidity levels and is a very vivacious Champagne that has a clear yellow colour enhanced with highlights of green almond.
On the nose, it had aromas of white flowers, fresh yellow plums, Asian pears and bergamot citrus character. Allowing it to breathe revealed a rich base, with notes of biscuits and coconut followed by hazelnuts.
On the palate it displayed the freshness of citrus and tropical fruit with superb mineral quality finish.
Dom Ruinart 1998 is from a great vintage and cellaring it for several years will be advantageous when pairing it with dishes with very intense flavours.
Of course no dinner is complete without dessert, and once again Chef Federico excelled with the dessert, a chocolate and aubergine mousse with raspberry coulis and fresh berries. Ruinart ‘Brut Rose’ was a marvellous choice for this course.
Intense, fruity and aromatic, Ruinart ‘Brut Rose’ is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The colour was a delicate pomegranate pink with very slightly orange reflections.
The nose was subtle and fresh, first offering an original palette of tropical fruits and small berries, followed by rose and pomegranate notes.
Ruinart Brut Rosé is a truly festive champagne, which is a delight to drink throughout a meal from aperitif to dessert.
Those who attended the dinner who had not before had the pleasure of enjoying Ruinart Champagne declared it an instant favourite, and toasted the success of the evening. Luckily there was the perfect champagne at hand with which to do so.