2010 Echelon Collection Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA $5.99

Silverdale, WA    13.5% alc.    (Purchased on 2/7/14)

IMG_1403I sat on this wine for some time (no, not literally!).  Because so many readers commented on it, I thought maybe it wise to just let the comments tell the story.  But today I opened it and thought we might have some readers who only check the posted reviews and not reader comments.  So, here I am with my review.  And from what I recall, I believe I’m in agreement with what most of our “regulars” have expressed.  It’s mighty tasty!

Clear medium ruby color.  Very fragrant varietally true nose of black cherry, smoke and earth.  Lots of tart acidity and firm, but accessible tannins on the palate; flavors of more black cherry, some red raspberry and very light mushroomy nuances.  Medium body and nice balance.  Great food wine that went quite well with hot pan sauteed marinated boneless NY steak strips and fresh mushrooms.

Interestingly too…when posting my notes in my computer wine cellar program, I found that I had consumed the 2009 version of the Echelon Pinot Noir in November 2012…and it was from France.  Regular retail was $12.00.  It was quite tannic and tasted like it had been blended with some other darker fruit variety (Syrah?).

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32 thoughts on “2010 Echelon Collection Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA $5.99

  1. Darrell

    Forced to try a bottle due to improper storage. “This side up” on the case happened to be bottle up and due to cases of wine being on top of the Echelon PN, didn’t bother to have any for quite awhile. So the the bottles have been standing neck up for two years or so and I was worried, but the bottle I tried was fine and as I remember from a couple of years ago.

    Reply
      1. Darrell

        PW, glad you have more. I tend to stock up on wines I like and not intentionally age, especially PN. There is only one PN I bought to age, Patassy PN.

        Reply
  2. permiesworld

    Just in case anyone still has this on their shelves, we opened one tonight. It’s still tasting good but it is right on the edge of declining (IMO)…I don’t plan on saving my other bottles…they are going to move into the rotation during the next month or so.

    Reply
  3. P-money

    You really should try Eschelon’s Red Blend. Amazing and very low in sapphires to cut down on those headaches and hangovers. $4.99 at Grocery Outlet but not at all locations. It’s such great flavor and well worth the drive if you have to hunt it down.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      I remember seeing that wine at the Silverdale GO, P-money…but it was months ago. If I should happen to find anymore, I’ll give it a try. Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        FWIW, we tried the red blend. I remember looking it up at the time and apparently the RRV pinot noir was part of their “collectors” (or collection) series and supposedly a step above some of the other wines, including the red blend. The collection series had the RRV pinot noir, a cabernet and a chardonnay IIRC. We only saw the RRV at our local G.O’s. We did get the regular (non-collection) cabernet and the red blend. The blend said it was a combo of “mainly” cabernet and merlot. I would swear that there was some zinfandel in there. It was definitely what I would call drinkable. Not a bad red blend. Pretty fruit forward, a little too much for me, but a nice mouthfeel. I’ll be interested in your thoughts if you find it.

        Reply
  4. BargainWhine

    In keeping with my “trying stuff I missed since there’s nothing new,” I opened a bottle of this wine tonight, which was great for $6. It was a little fruitier and darker than I ideally prefer in Pinot Noir, but this is a totally minor quibble. And, per my usual contribution, I thought it needed 70 – 80 minutes in a decanter to really show its stuff.

    Reply
  5. Don Bevins

    The Echelon pinot noir is still out there in the Sacramento area if you are willing to do some searching. It is interesting to follow on line wine sales sites especially the Wine of the Month podcasts and the wines they are promoting that can be found at GO. The Echelon pinot was featured at great deal for members at $12.99.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      This is everywhere and in quantity, too. Checked down in Oceanside and they have it there too and so it must be in the other GO’s in SD county. Funny, though, it’s not in Novato the last time I checked.

      Reply
  6. lim13 Post author

    As of today 3/13/14, there were still at least a dozen cases of this wine at the Silverdale, WA GO.

    Reply
  7. Ashlander

    Fortunately they still had a small qty left of this in Medford and I bought 8 bottles. Anyone try the Echelon Red Blend yet? Cases and cases of that in stock.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      On 29 Jan, 2014, RB said in What’s New?:
      Picked up a bottle of the 2010 Echelon Red Blend, California, at the Olympia store for $3.99. The 2011 Cab from Echelon was recently reviewed by bin5, prompting a little discussion of the recent history of the label, but I hadn’t seen anything about this blend, and since there has been no recent action up here in the North I thought I’d give it a try. Nothing special, but my wife labeled it ‘serviceable’, and I agree. Some decent dark fruit flavors with a little bit of tannin – maybe a slight bitter edge in the finish. Better than anything I can get from Trader Joe’s at the same price, anyway. The label says nothing about what’s in the blend and the winery’s website has no reference to this wine.

      Reply
      1. lim13 Post author

        Thanks for the research, BW. Haven’t had time to check it out, but I knew that I had read something from one of our readers. I’ll continue to pass on the Red Blend.

        Reply
      2. PW

        We felt the same about this one. We have a spare bottle saved for when there’s a bad bottle opened and we need something drinkable in it’s place. lol

        Reply
    2. Seedboy

      The Berkeley store had a good quantity of this yesterday. The bottle I opened last night was a pretty serviceable pinot noir.

      Reply
      1. Darrell

        serviceable – adjective 1. fulfilling its function adequately; usable. SB, are you British? The only defect I could find was a bitterness, especially in the back of the tongue, which my wife couldn’t detect. I didn’t find any variability from trying three bottles, but I don’t ” air ” my wine to detect further nuances as some do.

        Reply
  8. bin5

    I’ve been enjoying this tasty number myself over the last couple of weeks. Great QPR. Looks like I need to get a few more bottles now that the word is out 🙂

    Reply
  9. PW

    I was hoping you’d review this, just to hear your opinion.

    This was a repeat buy for us. Another one of our favorites from GO. We got out of the habit of buying from there, of late, because of multiple disappointments. We haven’t returned anything but we just stopped buying. After all the positive reviews on this, we picked one up, loved it and went back for more. So definitely appreciate the views here.

    Reply
    1. jwc

      I picked up a couple bottles, after the Hollywood tasting. Was surprised to see it retail on CellarTracker from $25-$32 or so. I recall Echelon being the entry level tier for Chalone awhile back, not sure if that is still the case today. My first bottle, I drank over 3 days, and after running through an airator on the first 2,as well as out of Riedel pinot stems. I thought it to be a nice Cali pn, pretty much as everyone has said…on Day 3 this wine was crazy good…rich, refined a delicious California style pinot, which most likely would have David Lett rolling over in his grave. Papa Pinot, founder of Eyrie Vineyards, here in Oregon, most likely would frown on this rich style, but whoop-di-do, I suppose. This bottle did go through an interesting metamorphisis, light cherry, flavors and body initially, cresendoing with each day therafter, quite a cool journey. I’m wondering if there is a little syrah in here, for color/texture perhaps, as this bottle seemed to get darker & richer with time. Unfortunately my second bottle, was not quite the same “crazy good” experience, but still tasty enough. Thumbs Up.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Ours has never lasted til day 3. Interesting.
        What was different about your second bottle? We’ve had two so far, but purchased a half case for future consumption.

        Reply
        1. jwc

          PW, to answer your question on the 2nd bottle, it never opened up, or blossomed like the initial bottle. I’m hoping a long decant would produce similiar results, I was surprised that on Day 3, the wine was as delicious as it was, 8 ounce pour. Perhaps a more accurate descriptive would be, on Day 3 the wine seemed to take on more of a RRV presence or character. Richer, slightly fuller, than the light/medium bodied wine that I experienced on the first couple of days. An interesting wine, certainly has us all discussing it.

          Reply
  10. DrJack

    Agree with your description. We have enjoyed this for 3 days, using vacuvin stopper and room temperature. It didn’t change much over that time.

    Reply
  11. Robert Brumer

    The 2009 you had is the basic bottling. It most probably comes from the southwest in France. A lot warmer than the Russian River Valley. Probably a little too much heat for pinot.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Actually, Robert…here’s where that wine came from (and you pretty much hit the nail on the head): http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-vin+de+pays+de+l'ile+de+beaute I don’t know that I’ve ever had any other wine from this tiny island (Corsica). Maybe Echelon had them blend in a little Tempranillo for color and body. ; ~) And thanks for bringing this up. I never checked out the appellation when the bottle was given to me by friends a few years ago. Very educational.

      Reply
  12. Darrell

    Lim13, now that you have affirmed what other regulars have said, I hope none of Flitcraft’s “dynamic pricing” occurs.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Maybe next time I should just keep my trap shut, eh Darrell? Unless, of course the price goes down! : ~)

      Reply

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