Wine Club Newsletter - September 2020
Never Give Up the Sip
2006 Pauillac, Pichon Longueville
As you may know, I have been in the wine and food industry since 1975, yes forty-five years. I have opened bottles of very young wine, and bottles of very old wine. The oldest of which was an 1805 Malmsey, which was still delicious twenty years ago.
In fact, I have opened, by my estimations, over 125,000 bottles of wine in my career, and at home. Most of them at work, of course! Now, think about this . . . if we were to lay down each bottle on the road head to toe, it would go over 25 miles.
Being in my profession, and as an appraiser of wine, a wine judge and collector, I have had the pleasure to experience many great, classic wines. That is certainly a highlight of being in my industry, which we all know, is a very challenging one.
I’m telling you all this to qualify myself to you so that the information I pass along in the next couple of paragraphs will stick to your wine sensibilities. I bought the wine, pictured above, when it was released in 2008. I had not tasted it prior, but it was made by one of the very top producers in Bordeaux, and it was their third level wine. It was a very good vintage, the wine was not too expensive, so I thought I would take a chance and purchase just six of them.
I tried the wine a week or so later, and found it very disappointing. It was way too tannic, it had an almost lacquer like essence to the nose, and even some of that on the palate. I decided to wait another couple years and see if it would evolve more favorably.
Popped another on in 2010, and it hadn’t changed much at all. Some of the lacquer component had dissipated, but it was still uneven, harsh and edgy. I waited another five years to open the next one, but it was as expected, unremarkable, but certainly less offensive than in its youth.
Well, I opened another last week, my last one of course, and it was incredible! The wine had fleshed out, bringing delightful floral and berry fruit, with vanilla oak nuances, true, lovely balance and that great silken, even, Bordeaux texture. I was bummed I didn’t get more of them, and that I was a bit impatient about its evolution.
The lesson is, don’t give up on wines that are young, perhaps very tannic, (but not chemically defective), especially if they come from a reputable producer. This is why we store wine for you, so you can enjoy the fruits that time brings to your bottles!