The 2007 Echelon Pinot Grigio from California's Clarksburg region (about $9 at wine savvy markets and wine shops) is a big fruit salad of a wine. This bottling from the Esperanza Vineyard bordering the Sacramento River is styled a "special release" and is indeed a very handsome example of its kind.
It starts with the heady aroma of orange blossom and lime as it splashes golden into the glass. Like the flavors to follow, the nose is richer than that of many pinot grigios but still subtle, delicate. On the tongue the Echelon opens with a vivid blend of tropical fruits, notably mango and lemon, then adds in kiwi, a little pear and a touch of spice. The spice and ginger finish is short but clean, yielding a delightfully complex and refreshing summer wine.
Enjoy it on its own as an aperitif or poolside, or pair it with a fresh garden salad, chilled pink shrimp or prosciutto-wrapped melon slices.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.