Sunday, March 27, 2005

1999 RunRig

I saw this on the list at Pigalls and thought it was a bargain at $280. Internet pricing is about $200 (if it were legal in Ohio), plus shipping plus being at risk for a bad bottle, I recollected, so I plunged in. (Sometimes there are gems on the wine lists in town!) Oh yeah, the meal and service were superb, really the best in the city and hanging out with Jean-Robert in the kitchen after dinner is the perfect ending to a fine meal. Back to the wine. The bottle was presented by Gary, the sommelier, dust and all. I suggested a good decant and we were off after a little glass of Cotes-du-Rhone Village. Richard, the Maitre D', and Gary were offered tastes. Gary enjoyed his and ran back to the kitchen to offer Chef a taste. Later during my dessert of seven cheeses, Gary said that he would normally suggest a Port, but the RunRig was big enough to suffice.

I had gone to the Torbreck tasting last fall in Cincinnati and had enjoyed all the wines in the portfolio, in particular, the Juveniles, which are great for the price. And David Powell is just a nice guy as we chatted about the bad weather and where he was headed off to next, and not some pretentious wine God, which he is, a wine God that is, given his talents. But sadly, there was no RunRig that day, and I didn't pony up and order cases of the other wines to get a few bottles of RunRig. Next year, I may.

I got a big nose of ripe, dark fruits (and I got a whiff of cedar, almost Cab-like; Richard found a subdued pepper), then a full mouth of more dark fruits and a long finish. It is 97% Shiraz and 3% Viognier, but on a blind taste I would guess old California Cab, but big! Amazing stuff and over the next hour and a half I enjoyed this beauty. One of the best wines to date, right up there with the '97 Margaux and the '68 BV Georges de Latour, but where they were subtle and elegant and, in the case of the BV, ephemeral, the RunRig is real big, but elegant and has years, decades left. If I had to pick one, I would go for a case of the RunRig and enjoy a bottle every two years for the next twenty years. So at $200 every two years, that's only about $10 per month, right! That's a cheap price to drink greatness over the next twenty years!


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