by Fred McMillin
for January 20, 1997

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend

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Winery of the Week: Beaulieu

1993 Private Reserve Petite Sirah

1995 Chardonnay, Central Coast

1992 Cabernet Sauvignon

1995 Proprietor's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

1994 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Limited Edition
Davis Bynum Winery
Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA

It was time to get out of Dodge.. .or rather, out of the town of Albany, California. San Francisco Chronicle newsman Davis Bynum was bitten by the wine bug in 1951. Robert Mondavi sold him 50 pounds of grapes, that produced three and a half gallons of Petite Sirah. The wine didn't keep well; it was so good the family drank it all before the next spring.

However, by 1970 that 50 pound crush in the basement had grown to 80,000 pounds in an abandoned plumbing shop.

The Case of the Bynum Bouquet

Now 80,000 pounds of grapes liberate something like 65,000 cubic feet of highly-scented gases. Albany smelled like a winery. The city fathers were not enthusiastic. So, Davis moved to the Russian River Valley. Using grapes purchased from the now-renowned Joe Rochioli, Davis produced the first Russian River Pinot Noir. Twenty-one vintages (and scads of medals) later, the winery is still purchasing Rochioli grapes and making more elegant Pinots than ever. At San Franscico's fashionable Postrio Restaurant, Hunter poured it with another well-known Sonoma product, succulent, smoked Sonoma lamb.... nirvana!

Highly Recommended (the wine and the Postrio chef that prepared the lamb)

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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