Echelon Pinot Noir 2001 3L

The 2001 vintage was a challenging year for growing and winemaking. The spring weather in the Santa Lucia Highlands and Salinas Valley brought temperature extremes (100-plus degrees F), which affected bud break and bloom, followed by some of the worst frost damage in 20 years. Pinot Noir, an early blooming variety, took the brunt of the damage, setting the stage for an interesting year. Thanks to the work of our excellent growers, and a cool mid-summer and warm fall, we brought in some exceptional fruit with rich color and great flavors. This wine is dark ruby in color with a complex nose of spice, oak and floral notes. The character of the wine is unmistakably Pinot Noir, with soft and engaging flavors. In the mouth, there is almost explosive cherry fruit ending in a long, pleasant aftertaste. The quality of the fruit shows the great potential of the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the majority of these grapes were grown. Many foods and cheeses match well with this versatile wine. Lamb with mint sauce or a grilled pork loin would go well with this offering. Many grilled or seasoned fish entrées could also fit the bill. A cheese and fruit plate with a baguette would be perfect with this bottle of 2001 Pinot Noir.