Wine List Review Time! - Jeff Ruby's The Precinct

Ok, so my wife and I are going to The Precinct in Cincinnati in a week or so to celebrate my getting a new (better) job. WB-ers always come through when asked to comb a wine list and pick out the winners. I don’t expect too many values on this list, but am curious to see what folks think. This place clearly specializes is dry-aged, concentrated plates of beefy ambrosia, so keep that in mind.

Generally anything over $150 on a restaurant wine list makes me queasy, unless it is near or at retail price. [cheers.gif]

Jaffurs Bien Nacido syrah mayhaps…?? Only double retail. Cool climate syrah on the young side but may well be “beefy ambrosia” friendly.

The 2001 Clape, if it is not the Renaissance, looks to be a good price, but I haven’t had it since trying a barrel sample.

What is their corkage policy? I often order a nice, white, rose, or sparkling wine off the list and then bring my own well-aged red.

Grange des Pères 2000 ! I’ve had it a few months back, and while not the greatest GdP vintage, it is still a pretty good wine. If you’ve never had one, I strongly suggest trying it at least once.

For me, it is the best Languedoc wine, and most people would put it in their Top 3.


2009 Rollan de By would be my first choice.

2009 Robert Craig Mt. Veeder seems like a really solid bet but is close to the budget. 2010 Guidalberto is an intriguing option as well at a bit less.

That list is obscene and not impressive other than the asking prices. Corkage?

It’s hard for me to comment, because wine lists in California tend to be much more consumer friendly. Corkage would be the way to go here, if allowed.

Paloma Merlot - $450!!! [wow.gif] [wow.gif]

Roederer Estate Brut Rose

Corkage is not allowed by law in Ohio. Some places still allow it (not exactly enforced, but most wont take the risk/hassle), and I always ask. I expect to have to buy off the list here.

Maybe the Trefethen 2010, Napa Valley at $101. It’s young as I really like Tefethen closer to ten years old but in my experience it still drinks OK young. I have not had the 2010 so can’t speak to the vintage. Looks to be about 2X to 2.5X retail but since you are in Ohio it may be more like 1.5X retail.

I think the 2010 was a fantastic vintage in Napa, but it definitely depends on your taste. Greater mix of red and black fruits, good acidity, greater complexity and more textured tannins in many Cabernets. Those who prefer dense black fruit and perfectly resolved, suave tannins might desire warmer vintages.

Honestly, I think the 2009 Robert Craig Mount Veeder would be the best bet. Good overall vintage, albeit a bit warmer than 2010/11 but in a cooler corner of Napa. Rated well on Cellartracker and by the critics (92.8 CT, 96 WA, 94 IWC). Reputable producer, from a very good site in a good vintage.

Average price in 2013 was around $80-85 from Wine Searcher too - so while there’s a solid mark-up it’s not as great as some other options.

Since corkage isn’t an option, I’d go for the Patricia Green Reserve Pinot Noir. Great producer from a good vintage with enough youth and muscle to pair with the beef. You’d be paying 2.5-3 times retail, but still only putting yourself out $60 for a solid wine on an otherwise lackluster list.

Congrats on the new job!

Outside of a few wines on the list '01 Paloma - the WS #1 year etc), that list is hardly obscene and seems to have a pretty fair mark up.

DITTO - My first question would be: “What do you have on tap?”

Sarah - the key to a great wine list is; You make your money on the wines by the glass and bottles under $50 on the list - the more expensive the wine - the less the markup should be - ANYTHING over a $50-$75 bottle cost should never be more than double the cost. Otherwise you end up with a nice museum list that people look at - and never purchase.

Restauranteurs argue about having to “pay” for proper service and proper glassware - but if no one is ordering the wines anyways - who cares about either?

Reference the food prices, and you will inevitably come to the conclusion that they sell plenty of wine, even with the markups on the higher end bottles.

I like the half bottle of 06 Clos de Pape CDP for $80… expensive sure, but you can have room to get half a bottle of something else