ZINFANDEL AMADOR. 1980 –DAVID BRUCE
by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | October 1983
David Bruce winery, one of the oldest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is dedicated to making exceptional wines from some of the finest grape growing regions in California.
An ardent wine lover, and a dermatologist by profession, Dr. Bruce settled in the wine country in 1960. He selected this area because of its reputation as one of the finest growing regions in the state. His winery was bonded in 1964.
The philosophy of David Bruce is that the grapes are what make the wine, and winemaking is used to support the grapes. He grows most of his own grapes, but also buys from other regions to add to his styles of wine. David Bruce is an extraordinary man. He has always been driven by the desire to experiment to make better and better wines. Dr. Bruce, together with his winemaker, Keith Hohlfeldt, are making wines that combine interest, integrity and technology. His Amador County 1980 Zinfandel is testimony this.
Zinfandels are wines which rarely get the credit they deserve, always being an after thought to Cabernets. This grape, which for a long time was considered unique to California, was recently identified in Bari, Italy as Primitivo di Gioia, and in Hungary and Yugoslavia as Plavac or Plavina. Some wine historians suspect that the vine was imported by the “father of California viticulture, Count Agostan Haraszthy” who wrote in 1864, “one day the Zinfandel will rival the great clarets of France.”
Typically, zinfandel from Amador can produce wine with an intense fruity character and unique bouquet. It can be hold, chewy, and a full bodied wine which is capable of showing lots of fruit and enough tannin for ageing.
In his penchant for experimentation, David Bruce has blended 29.6% of Petite Sirah in his Amador Zinfandel to give it a new dimension a bit of spice in the finish, and more structure to the middle taste. The result was good enough for the judges at the Orange County Fair, where this wine walked away with a Gold Medal this year.
Our wine is deep purple red in color. It has a penetrating berry fruit aroma, with some spice and pepper. The wine is full bodied, with an explosive flavor. It is balanced, and chewy with fruit. Tannin is apparent from the start, and finishes with it. It has a long finish of fruit. The varietal character of Petite Sirah does show through the Zinfandel, and pleasantly so. Serve at room temperature with meat dishes. Great with stroganoff!
Cellaring Notes: Will mellow and develop complexities for at least 5 years. Interesting nuances should develop due to the blend. Worth tracking.