Ruinart has in fact already begun putting disgorgement dates on its vintage wines, starting with the 2004*vintage released in 2009, Frédéric Panaiotis confirmed at the recent launch of Dom Ruinart 2002. “I wanted to introduce disgorgement dates at Ruinart when I first came here [from Veuve Clicquot] five years ago,” he told me, “but only for Dom Ruinart and the vintage wines, it’s too complicated to manage for the non-vintage.
“We started with the back label of the vintage 2004. We only have two different back labels for vintage and it’s released in two batches so it’s easier to do. Dom Ruinart is released in four batches with 25 different back labels so it’s very difficult to manage but we are going to do it soon, giving the month and year of disgorgement.”
Veuve Clicquot is also moving in this direction and plans to go further, eventually putting the date of disgorgement even on its non-vintage Yellow Label, or at least supplying this information via its website or a QR code on the bottle. Cyril Brun from the winemaking team at Clicquot says at present they give both the date of disgorgement and the dosage, but only for the Cave Privée range [re-releases of older vintages]. But he confirms: “We are currently working on extending this step by step to the rest of the range.”
These moves from LVMH owned brands follow the decision at Krug to make this detail available for all the wines in their entire range (except Krug Collection) bottled since July 2011 via a unique ID code on the bottles you can look up on the Krug website.
*We don’t officially see Ruinart straight vintage wines in the UK, because the marketing people at Moët Hennessy have decided to concentrate on promoting Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and rosé NV styles that are positioned at a slight price premium to vintage and being cheaper to produce (they are not aged for nearly the same length of time) are more profitable. But you could in fact find them in the UK at Nicolas shops until very recently (priced at £62.99 vs the Rosé and Blanc de Blancs price of £63.50) as the chain made all its champagne purchases in France.