We went to Linne Calodo on our wine tasting, zinfandel festival weekend in Paso Robles with our great friend, Whitney. If you’ve been following our blog lately, then you’ve been reading a lot about Paso Robles wines. Linne Calodo used to by co-owned by Justin Smith, now of Saxum fame. Former partner, Matt Trevisan, retained Linne Calodo, which has been quite a success, too.
I wanted to research it a bit more for this story but the LC site is maddeningly vague about details. What is clear is that they want any potential visitors to make an appointment first, that the wines are sold out right now and that if you want them, then you should probably sign up for their club. This seems to be the Paso Robles story these days. Booker and Denner had almost no juice left and forget about Saxum. I’ve been on that waiting list for three years already and still get charming e-mails from them every four to six months humbly apologizing to me about the continued wait, but alas, I must continue to wait. Of course, Andy Warhol is right: “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” But by golly, it sure is exasperating, too.
Linne Calodo has a super attractive ultra modern tasting room that is only a couple years old. Their wines are primarily zinfandel and Rhône style blends. Each has an incredible name, and like kukkula, a story behind it. The labels for the Linne Calodo bottles could out-compete most wineries for style and chic. We enjoyed pretty much everything that we tasted. Compared to other good producers, like Caliza or Tablas Creek, for example, LC’s prices seemed a bit higher. I guess that makes everyone happy, since they’re essentially sold-out.
2009 Rising Tides: a blend of mourvèdre, syrah and Grenache. This is translucent purple with medium body. We detected tar, earth, rhubarb and red fruit, with mineral and pepper bringing up the good finish.
2008 Screwball: a blend of syrah, Grenache and mourvèdre. This is named in homage to Eric Jensen of Booker. It was opaque purple with a nose of over-ripe veggies, red fruit and cabbage. It tasted round and full with lots of fruit, some pepper and fine tannins.
2009 Problem Child: zinfandel, syrah and mourvèdre. The name comes from the first vintage of this wine. There was a stuck fermentation, which caused some difficulty. Translucent purple with red currant, dry California forest on the nose leading to fresh red and purple fruit, some spice and earth with excellent balance. We liked this one a lot.
2009 Sticks and Stones: Grenache, mourvèdre and syrah. Translucent purple with herbal notes and rosepetal had refined tannins on a smooth medium body that featured lots of juicy red fruit.
2009 Outsider: zinfandel, syrah and mourvèdre. Also translucent purple with exciting leather, dried herb and fruit notes leading to a very full bodied, rounder than Problem Child, earthy peppery wine that reminded us of good Super-Tuscans.