The champagne Dom Ruinart 1998 is a more classic vintage than 1996. It is made of 85% Chardonnay (66% from Grand Cru plots of the Côte des Blancs: Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; and 34% from the Montagne de Reims: Sillery, Puilsieux, Verzenay) and 15% Pinot Noir vinified as a red wine, from Sillery and Verzenay plots.
It is a bright and soft pink Champagne, with golden pink and coral glints which will become more intense through the years. Dom Ruinart 1998 Rosé Champagne offers an open and promising nose in a mix of flowers (roses and geranium) as well as an explosion of fruits (redcurrant, wild strawberry, red plum...). The maturity of the vintage appears only after a few minutes in the glass and goes along with warmer notes (white chocolate, candied grapefruit, fruit jelly, with a hint of honey). On the palate, the Chardonnay marks the attack which is creamy, precise and delicate. The finish (finely structured with a restrained power) lets the Pinot Noir express a fine bitterness of rhubarb and grapefruit due to its low dosage.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The Ruinart 1998 Brut Rose Dom Ruinart I sampled was noticeably marked in texture and complexity by both its long stay on the lees and considerable time in bottle, not to mention by its significant share of red wine. Sour cherry and rhubarb, rose hip and geranium, smoky black tea and old leather, grapefruit zest and sea water combine for an aromatic performance whose counterpart on a still very sappy and vivacious yet expansive and richly textured palate is satisfyingly long-lasting. The roughly 15% of red Pinot added here to what is essentially the same cuvee as the white Dom Ruinart of its vintage received a longer fermentation on its skins than applied to Ruinart's "regular" rose, which may be one reason for the nutty, meaty depth that comes out in the finish. It certainly helps explain the invigorating sense of apple skin chew and cherry pit piquancy. As so often in the realm of prestige rose, one is being asked to pay an enormous premium vis-a-vis the corresponding white wine, but in this instance you're also paying for considerable additional aging. And this impressive bottling could easily remain so for several more years.