Saturday, August 2, 2008

WTSS Minutes for July 29, 2008 in San Jose, CA

The regular P1619.3 WTSS meeting was held on July 29, 2008 at Maggiano's Little Italy on Santana Row in San Jose, CA. Matt Ball was in the chair, in place of Landon Noll (who was preparing to see the upcoming solar eclipse in China).

The meeting came to order at 7:00 p.m. PDT, after all main participants were finally able to find parking.

  • Matt Ball
  • Walt Hubis
  • James FitzGerald
  • Scott Kipp
  • Larry Hofer
  • Bob Lockhart
  • Michael Marcil
  • Arshad Noor
  1. Introductions
  2. Taste Wine
  3. Adjournment
The Wines:

2007 Kim Crawford Marlborough Savignon Blanc (screw-top) - white
Comments from attendees:
  • fresh, crisp
  • young

SKU #1033118 Selected from various low yielding vineyards in the Wairau, Brancott, Waihoepai and Awatere valleys, these Sauvignon Blanc grapes were machine harvested and protectively handled. After juice clarification the wine was innoculated with pure, aromatic yeast strains and cool fermented. Once dry the wine was stabilized, filtered and bottled. Aroma: Classic Sauvignon characters of gooseberry, passionfruit, figs and a touch of herbaceousness. Palate: Unfolds with flavours of passionfruit, gooseberry and subtle herbaceousness. The wine is mouthfilling with good texture and finishes well with crisp acidity and great length. 91 points Wine & Spirits: "The kiwi flavors of this wine need air to gain clarity, moving through citrus pith character before resolving cool and crisp. A spark of bright flavor for any raw shellfish." 91 points Wine Spectator: "Concentrated and very intense, weaving together a harmonious medley of crushed stone, grapefruit and ut flavors. Savory herbs, grass and lime notes highlight a bright, virbrant finish. Drink now."

2005 Ca'marcanda Promis (Toscana)

Ca'Marcanda Promis 2005 (red)

Comments from the attendees:
  • a dark red
  • no legs

"Gaja’s 2005 Promis (55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese) is a plump, juicy wine bursting with ripe dark fruit, leather and spices. This fresh, engaging wine is best enjoyed over the next two to three years. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010. 88 points.

Angelo Gaja shuttles back and forth from his home base in Piedmont to Tuscany as if his properties were next to each other rather than separated by hundreds of kilometers. Then again, I have seen Gaja drive, and he is just as determined behind the wheel as he is with his wines."

2003 Michele Chiarlo Barolo Tortoniano (Red)
Comments from the attendees:
  • good wine
  • earthy
  • "good sh!t"
  • more tannins (a little)

Characteristics: fascinating, ethereal, complex bouquet. Typical notes of juniper, anise, sweet tobacco and delicate spices. Taste: ample, harmonious, with a long and pleasant aftertaste.

Life cycle: already open and harmonious after 3-4 years, it continues developing extraordinarily well for up to 8-10 years, maintaining for a long time the features acquired

Serving temperature: 18-19° C.

Accompaniments: a stupendous wine for roasts, game and ripe cheese.

"Has lots of plum aromas, with a tea and cedar undertone. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a medium finish. Best after 2008. 7,000 cases made. –JS" -Rated 87, Wine Spectator

"Chiarlo’s 2003 Barolo Tortoniano reveals an attractive ripeness supported by firm, yet well-balanced tannins, with an added touch of sweetness from the oak. This lovely, delicate Barolo is made in a feminine style, and should be consumed over the medium-term. Anticipated maturity 2008-2015. Michele Chiarlo owns plots in some of the area’s best vineyards. In past vintages the wines have been all over the map in terms of quality so its nice to see him bounce back with these strong releases." -Rated 88, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Having no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. PDT

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2008-Jan-14 - Marche Moderne - Costa Mesa, CA US

The regular meeting of the IEEE P1619.3 Wine Tasting Standing Subcommittee (WTSS) was held on Jan 14th, 2008 in Santa Ana, CA. Landon Noll was in the chair and took minutes.

  • Landon Noll, Cisco Systems
  • Matt Ball, MV Ball Tech
  • Michael Marcil, Vormetric

  • Taste Wine

Wines tasted:
  • Salmon Creek Caberinet 2006

    Smooth with a nice finish.
    Served at the Hotel reception, not at Marche Moderne
  • Chateau Les Haute - France - Ponet-Canet 2003

    Not very smooth, nor complex
    Not well liked by some at the table
    Opened a bit more up later on
  • Chateau des Matards -France - Merlot 2005

    Standard merlot with a slightly watery taste
  • Patrick Lesec - Rhone Valley France - 2003

    Complex and Earthy
    Well liked at the table
  • Silver Oak Merlot - Napa CA, US - 2003

    Very nice way to end the meal
Overall the wines tasted did not standout as exceptional. The faults was with the wine, not the Marche Moderne restaurant. The food (rustic French) and service at the restaurant was outstanding!

I appreciated that the restaurant offered tasting (1/2 glass) servings as it allowed us to try wines that we might not have otherwise wanted to risk trying. On the other hand, not all of our experiments were successful as you can see above.

Corrections & comments welcome.

Having no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time.