The 1998 is an all-out love fest to the Chardonnay grape. Using only Grands Crus grapes from the much-revered Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reimes, it is in these vineyards that the Champagne starts becoming something special.
The 1998 Brut Blanc de Blancs Dom Ruinart, on the other hand, is breathtaking. This beautiful, precise wine flows with an array of smoke, toastiness, ripe Chardonnay fruit and minerals. The 1998 is a wonderfully open, at times highly expressive Dom Ruinart that nevertheless appears to have the freshness and vibrancy to age well for a number of years. The pointed, refined finish leaves a lasting impression. Today the 1998 remains painfully young and austere, especially after it sits in the glass a while. This is a terrific effort from Ruinart and Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis.