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david bruceI never review wines based on a winery visit. It is hard to be objective when talking to a winemaker, struggling with palate fatigue, or gazing at picturesque vineyards on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But I often purchase a wine and open it weeks later when I can give an individual wine the attention it deserves. I visited the highly regarded Santa Cruz Pinot Noir producer David Bruce last month and tasted through much of their lineup. It was all quite impressive but this wine stood out from the crowd. After opening it at home and sitting with it for a couple hours, that original judgment is confirmed. This wine is delicious.

Mocha sits pertly atop dried plum and cherry, gently shading off into thyme. Freshly turned earth tones develop with some aeration. Lush and silky on the palate, rich, soothing chocolate notes cosset the bright acidity that creeps up and announces itself on the finish leaving a clean, fresh impression in the mouth. Tannins are wispy and shy. Nothing too ponderous or profound here, just shapely and tasty, exquisite fruit/acid balance with no taint of excessive oak or over-ripe fruit.

Score: 91

Price: $35

Alc:14.8%

Sensuous and a little frivolous, this is a Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot” wine:

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