When we’ve had a wine in the store for awhile, we try to check in on it every once in awhile, and see where it is in its evolution. When Olivier Daubresse was here this past Saturday with Philippe Plantevin, towards the end of the afternoon we decided to revisit another of his Southern Rhone producers, Chateau Husson. We opened the 2009 Les Saumades, an almost all-Grenache bottling. When it first arrived in the store, it was a delicious, but very fruit-forward style of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Pretty and accessible, but maybe not as complex as some of the other Chateauneuf-du-Papes we carry.
Now, it is all grown-up! Les Saumades is much grippier, earthier, with much more savory, black olive-scented depth. That gorgeous fruit is still there, but there is so much more going on – we couldn’t believe it! As Doug and I swirled and sipped and our eyes widened, Olivier just looked at us with a knowing smirk, as though he knew this would happen all along, and he was just waiting for us to figure it out. Spending decades tasting through France will do that for you!
This is why buying a half-case or case of the same wine is a great way to learn about how wine ages, and at what stage you personally like to drink it. Every year or so you can revisit it, and see how it’s doing. It may be better or worse than the last time you had it, but you’ll always learn something.
And sometimes, you’ll get a wonderful surprise, just like we did!