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Echelon Viognier 2000

Viognier from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    We are discovering that Viognier is exceptionally well suited to the Esperanza Vineyard in Clarksburg. This is our second vintage of Viognier produced from that vineyard, and we are extremely pleased with the results.

    We harvest this grape at a high level of flavor maturity. The wine is fermented cold in stainless steel and sees a very small amount of French oak. By bottling in early March we capture the fresh fermentation aromas and attractive varietal character. Our Viognier is a highly aromatic wine with bright notes of citrus peel, orange blossom and peaches.

    Echelon Viognier pairs well with summer dishes such as grilled sea bass with oregano and tomatoes, caramelized scallops over baby lettuce, Swiss chard raviolis, grilled polenta, roasted eggplant with garlic, and grilled chicken with herbs. The wine also makes a wonderful aperitif. -Stephen R. Dooley, Consulting Winemaker

    Critical Acclaim

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    Echelon

    Echelon Vineyards

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    Echelon Vineyards, Central Coast, California
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    Combining the best fruit from friends’ and neighbors’ vineyards, Echelon produces serious wines for everyday drinking. To obtain this exceptional fruit, Echelon pioneered the development of long-term contracts with growers in emerging regions, including areas within California’s Central Coast and the Clarksburg appellation’s Esperanza Vineyard. Echelon’s winery is located in San Miguel, in the heart of the Central Coast, near many of its vineyard sources. This state-of-the-art facility enables Echelon to take advantage of the latest technology throughout the winemaking process.

    Echelon’s superb grapes and gentle winemaking result in fresh, fruit-forward wines. Beautifully balanced and pleasingly complex, these impressive premium wines are easy on the palate and the budget.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

    Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

    Viognier

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    Full-figured and reminiscent of a potent floral perfume, Viognier is the mandatory grape of the northern Rhône appellation Condrieu and neighboring monopole (an entire appellation dedicated to just one winery) Château Grillet. It is also a blending variety in several appellations throughout the entire Rhône Valley. Viognier is grown throughout much of the world with some degree of success, but is perhaps at its best outside of France in Oregon, Washington, and cooler parts of Australia, where minerality and acidity can be achieved to give the wine the backbone it can sometimes lack.

    In the Glass

    This is a heady, aromatic variety making rich, complex, and full-bodied white wines redolent of a floral bouquet and assorted stone fruits and tropical fruits, with a hint of spice not unlike that of Gewürztraminer. It is lower in acidity than most white wines, lending to its heavy impression on the palate. While a whiff of Viognier might suggest sweet flavors, these wines are typically quite dry.

    Perfect Pairings

    Viognier is an intense, bold variety that can easily stand up to gutsy food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, chicken Kiev, or rich, spicy fare.

    Sommelier Secret

    While Viognier is a white grape, it also plays an important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône, made otherwise from Syrah. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.

    LAU1500617_2000 Item# 40209