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As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that the 2002 vintage in Champagne is one of the finest of the last quarter century.

Thanks to September’s steady north wind, the perfectly ripe fruit achieved a rare level of concentration, amplifying the year’s rich, vibrant character. That makes it a year perfectly suited to the style of one of Champagne’s greatest blanc de blancs, Dom Ruinart.

Ruinart’s gifted chef de cave, Frédéric Panaïotis, took the vintage’s exceptional Chardonnay—sourced exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards—and created a masterpiece. Richard Juhlin calls it “a blessed creation,” while Antonio Galloni considers it “without question one of the truly great wines ever made at this historic maison.”

Essence of Chardonnay

Ruinart is Chardonnay. Aside from Salon and Taittinger, no other historic house is so identified with this variety.

And their vintage-dated prestige cuvée takes this concept in an unusual direction. While most prestige blanc de blancs are sourced exclusively from the Côte des Blancs, Dom Ruinart balances the quintessential elegance of such sites as Avize and Le Mesnil with the earthy richness and power of Grand Cru Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims.

With superlative blending skill, Panaïotis marries these varied terroirs to create a model of creamy richness leavened by its citrus and chalk-charged elegance.

A key to this stunning marriage of power and elegance is the long aging in the house’s ancient crayères. This ideally cold, humid environment—115-meter deep cellars of pure chalk—allows Panaïotis to age Dom Ruinart as long he wishes before disgorgement.

The 2002 Dom Ruinart is set to take its place among the very greatest vintages ever of this peerless blanc de blancs. Producer, terroir and vintage; all three come together in this profound Champagne—thrillingly expressive now, yet built to develop for decades.

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