Pros: Strong fruity smell
Cons: Too bitter, acidic, and tannin filled
Having had a nice Jigsaw pinot noir with a steak in a restaurant, when serving beef at a home dinner party, I thought another pinot noir would be a good choice. Actually I wanted to find Jigsaw, but my local CostPlus WorldMarket did not have it stocked, so Echelon Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir was my first runner up selection. This wine is a product of France (Lile de Beaute to be exact, which is an exotic sounding name for Corsica), and is imported, blended and bottled by Echelon Vineyards of Sonoma, California.
The approximately $12, 750ml glass bottle is topped with a traditional cork, and in addition to a bold name label, a Celtic-esque grape and vine medallion appears on the front. It has a very masculine, attractive look. The alcohol content of this red wine is 13.8% by volume, and it is pretty strong.
Echelon Pinot Noirs dominant aromas are those of cherries and plums. I absolutely love cherries fresh sweet cherries, canned syrupy cherries for pies and have been known to eat a bowl of fresh cherries in lieu of a meal. I also enjoy fresh plums, prunes, and sour dried pickled plums (beloved Asian snacks). So, I love the deep, rich, cherry and plum smell of this wine. On top of the deep dark-skinned fruit smell, there is a prominent prickly spice or alcohol smell which nips at ones nose.
Unfortunately, to this novice wine drinker, this wine smells better than it tastes. First, the sweetness level is low. Second, it is fairly acidic. Third, it is chock full of tannins, which give me a morning after headache (thats why I normally stick with white wines which have less tannins, though red meat begs for red wine). This wine has a fairly toasty quality (which is probably why the fruits are so concentrated), and is also light to medium bodied.
The winemaker recommends this wine as an accompaniment to roasted pork tenderloin, grilled salmon, roasted duck and wild mushroom risotto. I had it with beef and also on its own (for reviewing purposes, naturally).
This wine seemed so promising, but its taste was not to my liking. So, I will have to go with a not recommended rating, with the caveat that you may like it since everyones tastes are different.
Thanks for reading, and cheers!
Review of a tastier wine:
Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2006 750ml