Tornado watch in effect notwithstanding, a handful of members started trickling in around 3:30pm for some afternoon of wine libations. First in was member MM who has been MIA for the past two months as he went about his travel adventures. As he parked himself in our work table, he opened a 2007 Las Moras ‘Mora Negra’, a blend of Malbec and Bonarda from Argentina, which was packed with ripe plums, black raspberries and black licorice. The palate was full with smooth, refined tannins. Supple and rounded mouthfeel with a medium finish.

James was in next who was in the mood for tornado-appropriate wines. He started with the beautifully aromatic and very focused 1998 D’Auvenay Chevalier Montrachet. The wine showed a dramatic nose of toast, hazelnuts, minerals and pear balanced by an expansive and broad palate, full body and a gorgeous thread of acidity. Persistent finish marked by a well-defined stony minerality. I can’t get enough of this wine… it’s crack for oenophiles – if I did crack, that is….

Next on the table was the plush, velvety-textured 1994 Joseph Phelps Insignia. This wine showed some maturity with richer and sweeter blackcurrant fruit along with cedar, eucalyptus, cigar box and damp earth. The wine had resolved tannins resulting in a smooth-textured, elegance in bottle; beautifully balanced and impressive length. Fully mature wine that will likely drink in this window for another five years.

MM next shared a 1997 Remoissenet Muersault Genevrieres around the table which displayed oxidative characteristics of deep nuttiness, brioche, and lemon custard notes with a lush, creamy mid-palate and a medium finish. Fully mature.

This was followed by a 2000 Bond Vecina with a nose of loam, black cherries, licorice, cedar and a subtle touch of smoke; palate was full bodied, firmly structured with noticeable acidity. It seemed ‘closed’ in the midpalate and with the noticeable acidity, seemed unbalanced and lacking.  Perhaps a longer decant would have helped.

Ryan and I blind-tasted some red wine next, courtesy of Bill N. This was beautifully aromatic with cedar, tobacco, roasted herbs and a core of sweeter blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Full-bodied and generous with a velvety, filled-out mid-palate showing more layered flavors: black fruits, herbs, leather and cedary spice flavors.  Persistent length. Just an extraordinary bottle. This turned out to be a 1983 Pichon Lalande. I guessed this to be a 1985 Pichon… pure luck.