by Fred McMillin
for September 8, 1998


An All-Pro Pinot


"Russian River vineyards can deliver Pinot Noirs tasting closer to an original from Burgundy than any other California region can produce."

...Wine authority Bob Thompson

"While in Stanford medical school, I purchased a 54 Burgundy red from Domaine de Romanee Conti. Tasting it that evening was ecstacy...and I decided then and there eventually to make some of the world's greatest Pinot Noirs." Bruce

...Dr. David Bruce

1993: A David Bruce 1990 Pinot Noir is selected as the world's best in a series of eight tastings by the Vintner's Club of San Francisco.

The Rest of the Story

So what happens when you turn California's Pinot master loose in Bob Thompson's best California Pinot district? You get the '94 David Bruce Russian River Pinot Noir. It absolutely dazzled my tasters, half of them rating it virtually perfect. If your friends like red wine, they will LOVE this one.

The Wine

1994 Pinor Noir, Russian River Valley
David Bruce Winery, Los Gatos, CA.
Food Affinity—Serve with either of two Burgundian dishes. The wine is smooth enough for Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine), intense enough for Boeuf Bourguignon (beef in red wine).
Rating—EXCELLENT (best Pinot tasted so far this year)
Phone—(408) 354-4214
Price—$25 range

PostscriptThe Name Game

The Russians' three-decade stay north of San Francisco not only resulted in the name of a river and a valley (Russian), but also a mountain. They regarded a mountain in the northern Napa Valley as the highest in the region. Prior to abandoning the settlement in 1842, Ivan Vovnesensky and Gyorgy Tschernikh climbed to the crest and named the landmark after the Czar's wife. We still call it Mount St. Helena!

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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