I cannot go back as far with the RunRig as I could with the Mt. Mary Quintet, partly because the wine did not exist in 91, partly because I do not have the first vintages, starting from 95. My first one is the monumental 98.
The 1998 Torbreck RunRig is much further developed than the 2001. The fruit has blackcurrant and cherry flavours. The oak is much more in the background. The wine is as big as the 2001 and has a slight alcoholic feel to it. The mouthfeel is equally thick, ripe and intensive. The tannins are strong and produce quite a dry feel leading to a very long finish.
This is a wine which requires food. It is overpowering on its own. In comparing it with the 2001, I feel that the 2001 is better made. The 98 does not have the same elegance and smooth finish. It is quite a big and aggressive wine. On the other hand, the oak integration is working much better at this point in time. I am probably drinking the 98 at its optimum time. The 2001 will live a lot longer and, in my opinion, will outshine this wine in a few years time.