We’ve all been there… we just need an irrefutable excuse to do our thing and traffic is the most common one and with the wet, rainy day that beset Dallas yesterday, the stage was set. First in was Bill S who walked into our owner Dave S hitting some imaginary golf balls. Bill did an impromptu tutorial, going back and forth perfecting that swing and somehow in the middle of it he managed to fish a 1978 Remoissenet Chambertin-Clos de Beze from his cage. Right out of the bottle, the wine displayed unbelievable freshness with aromas reminiscent of wild berries, dusty cherries, undergrowth, spice coming back with a twist of red currant and iron note on the finish. On the palate, it was opulent and full with tremendous length on the finish. This was followed by the mature, smoky and scorched earth inflected 1983 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. With time, additional notes of dried tobacco, tar, and olive notes started coming through. From the intense nose to the elegant palate, this was in a great drinking spot, begging to be drank now. Doc Scott was conveniently caught in an hour-long jam at Graileys, enough time for him to open the show-stopping NV Jacques Selosse Substance which displayed an alluring bouquet of almond paste, brioche, yeast, orchard fruits, and a beguiling seaweed-like minerality. Or as Dave called it, “like a salty mist coming off the ocean.” The palate was powerful and opulent yet elegant with creamy almond brioche, marzipan, floral, touch of earth and honey. This continued its evolution in the glass gaining in mouthfeel and becoming more sumptuous and richer. My WOTN. Matt J walked in next and was handed a glass of the Substance. He was swirling and seemingly inspired when he popped the cork on a 1990 Les Forts de Latour. And boy, this jumped into a running start right out of the bottle… gobs of cassis, blackberries, blackcurrants, sweet spice, roasted espresso and graphite. This just seemed more evolved on the palate than it was on the nose. The tannins are resolved giving a round, supple texture on the palate. Fantastic bottle! I would be interested to see this bottle again in a decade and see where the nose and the palate will meet. Mary F walked in to pick up a couple of bottles but was talked into staying for a few minutes by a taste of the 1990 Les Forts. She shared a bottle of 2000 Jadot Chambertin Clos de Beze around the table. Initially, the wine showed high-toned aromatics with red fruits reminiscent of cherries and strawberries along with some floral, earth and savory, dried herbs. There was great freshness on the palate with a zippy acidity and bright red fruits suggesting there is long life ahead of this baby. As it sat in the glass, it started opening up becoming more earthy showing mushrooms, minerality, spice, plums and blackcurrants. Amazingly elegant yet powerful at the same time. This is why I’m such a huge fan of Clos de Beze; it’s a skill to marry that opulence with elegance. As we were revisiting this line-up of wines in front of us, Bill S was back from fetching a pheasant truffled risotto he made at his house. As if anybody needed anymore organoleptic inspiration. Then again, this is Graileys… so, as the risotto warmed up on the stove top, Bill S whipped up some crazy-good spicy Buffalo quail legs. We all dug in as Simon poured around a NV Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee. The soft, honeyed, pear and Golden delicious apple-flavored Champagne was just the perfect foil to the rich, full-flavored quail legs.