An Epiphany, in Magnum Format
1990 Dom Ruinart Rosé Magnum
Lowest Price in the Nation
"...brilliant vitality and Burgundy-like authority."
True wine epiphanies are a rare thing.
With each passing vintage fewer wine experiences seem truly revelatory; there is greatness, for sure, but it has a consistent rhythm to it, a predictability that is both soothing and, sometimes, a bit numbing.
It's the moments that you get side-swiped by greatness that you never forget. It's experiences of unpredictable genius that somehow re-wire the synapses and forge a completely revised world order. This is what we're all looking for, one way or another.
Today I humbly present this moment for me, in magnum format. I will be the first to admit that the first time I sat down at a table with this wine I had modest expectations. At a formal dinner with some of the legendary Dom Ruinarts - 1966, 1979 - the 1990 rosé out of magnum calmly dominated the table.
I don't know what to write other than this wine is simply in a state of "perfection" - a dazzling juxtaposition of freshness, a creamy morning-dew acidity that quivers through, around and in between a staggering complexity, nuances that run the gamut from crushed raspberry to truffles, coffee and spice. This is what makes rosé Champagne one of the most complicated, satisfying (and yes, expensive) genres of wine.
If it's a winetasting cliché to compare rosé Champagne to red Burgundy, well, clichés often come about for a reason, right? As Richard Juhlin notes: "Here you'll find the wonderfully erotic, moldering and truffle-like aromas that are present in red wines from Vosne-Romanée, and at the same time the buttery, roasted-coffee aromas that make you think of oaky Puligny-Montrachet."
The 1990 Dom Ruinart rosé is among the most engaging wines I have ever encountered; in all honesty it took two subsequent tastings for me to wrap my head around this bottle. It is seriously complex, unfurling nuance after nuance over the course of several hours of development - this is a bottle to open early for a marathon experience that will evolve late into the night (or early into the morning if you have the stamina). Again, the tension is what makes it so riveting, the absolutely palate-staining amount of ripe fruit (this is 1990 after all) with the surprisingly lively acidity, the subtle detail awash on the mid-palate and the ridiculously long finish.
While this is a bottle that can certainly be enjoyed now with a pile of lobsters or a buttery roast chicken, it will continue to evolve for the next two decades, especially in magnum format. It's a scary thought: But this will likely only get better.
Today we present a meager treasure-trove; So far as we can tell the global supply of this rare magnum has dried up, so if you are at all interested, now might very well be the last chance. This much is sure, if and when this bottle reappears, it will NOT be at this price.
And while this is by no means an inexpensive bottle, given the rarity of both rosé Champagne and the magnum format, to say nothing of the wine's 20-year-development, I don't think it's outlandish to call this wine a value. As we all know, the top-flight vintage rose's never come without a little bit of pain!
Who was it that sang, "Hurts so good"?
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Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Special Email Bottle Price: $549.95
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Richard Juhlin: Well-stored bottles are just as good as the Vinothèque version. Deep and creamy with brilliant vitality and Burgundy-like authority.