My wife Cheryle (& a friend) & I had the chance to walk some vineyards in Paso Robles recently. It was a good time, as there was “taste” to the grapes & it was therefore an incredibly learning opportunity.
Our first stop was at Linne Calodo & superstar winemaker Matt Trevisan. It had been years since I last visited Matt at the winery. We were excited & anxious to visit eventhough we were not sure how much time Matt would actually have with us, given the looming harvest, the fact that both noted wine writers–Robert Parker & Josh Reynolds were in town around the same time.
Lots of rock to deal with. There is only 18 inches to 3 feet of top soil.
Matt planted all kinds of interesting plant material. He had learned alot from planting & operating his other estate vineyard which surrounds the winery itself.
Whalebone (pictured in the background). I was amazed at how the big oak on the right side GREATLY affected such a wide area of vines…..which only a few were able to survive. The Poppy parcel is pictured in the foreground & the grapes tasted firmer, with way more acid (which Matt uses for his Problem Child bottling).
We also loved meeting the growers. Just so “salt of the earth” & genuine.
The Cushman vineyard was essentially right across the street….& one got a completely different vibe from this site. Matt gets 1 1/2 acres of the 10 planted (in 1978) It is also a cooler spot, & therefore results in higher acid fruit eventhough the fruit typically ripens 2 to 3 weeks later than Heaton. For me the fruit doesn’t have the same vinosity & character as the Poppy parcel across the way.
The Cherry vineyard was planted in 1977….only about 2 1/2 acres amid 400 acres of land. The vines are head trained with south to southwest facing. I though the fruit from this vineyard tasted the best of day, at least for Zinfandel. There was alot of character & vinosity. It really is a special site.
Denner Vineyard has truly blossomed to become one of the standout sites in all of Paso Robles. Located directly across the James Berry vineyard, it too is truly something to behold. Furthermore, each parcel offers something unique.
one can readily tell, for instance, which is the Mourvedre plantings (as seen by the “airstrip” looking parcel in the middle. Lots of vines here just don’t make it. It is also one of the last grape varieties to ripen.
Tasting through some of the various barrels of 2012’s convinced us, this is going to be one heck’uv vintage for Linne Calodo. Save some room in your cellars, people. AND work hard to get some!
Yes…the winemaking has changed…or a better way of putting it….evolved. The wines therefore are not as forward & have much more layering, intricacies & better balance. The minerality is thankfully much more showcased. In short, Matt Trevisan is totally in the “zone” right now.
This was a GREAT, major insightful visit!!!!! Thank you Matt.