Monday, November 12, 2007

Linne Calodo The Outsider

We enjoyed a bottle of the 2005 Linne Calodo Outsider. The name refers to the limestone soils on the west side of Paso Robles. Within Paso there appears to be some sort of wine gang war between the east side and the west side with both claiming superiority. Since I have enjoyed wines from both sides of the 46 I'm not going to weigh in on that argument.

As for the Linne Calodo Outsider, a blend of 70% Zin, 27% syrah, and 3% mourvedre it is quite pleasing. At 15.6% alcohol, be wary of drinking too much less you become the Outsider.

Tasting Notes: Dark Ruby Color. Nose of black cherry, anise, with a touch of vanilla. The vanilla makes me assume it was aged in American oak.

Taste: juicy fruit, smoky, a touch of pencil shavings. Nice plush mouth feel and it lingers nicely without any bitter aftertaste. Despite the higher alcohol content, it is simultaneously light as a feather in your mouth and feels full and well rounded. This is one of my favorite qualities in well made wine.

Take a look at Linne Calodo's site for some great harvest pictures In some of those pictures they showed perhaps why their wines have such a great mouth feel and a good tannin balance. They are using a techniques called délestage to aid in tannin management. Délestage involves draining the fermenting tank out the bottom through a screen to remove some of the seeds. The juice is then held in an intermediate tank. It is then pumped, and thus aerated, into a second tank. During this time the cap is left in the first fermenting tank. Finally the juice is pumped back over into the first tank without breaking up the cap. This technique is meant to aerate the must which should enhance the final aroma profile. It also should allow for greater color and flavor extraction from the cap ( skins, seeds). This process also removes some of the seeds which tend to impart bitter or harsh tannins in wine.

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