by Fred McMillin
for December 9, 1997
A Danube Dandy
Prologue: Bulgarian Highlights
The Rest of the Story: So how has Bulgarian winemaking turned out? Hugh Johnson says it's succeeded beyond all expectations. Bulgaria is "the world's second largest exporter of bottled wine, after France...the Merlot has fruit, vigour, balance—the robust qualities of good Bordeaux, if not its finesse."
The Russe district makes its share of that Merlot, something like 100,000 cases a year. Thanks to the Bargetto Winery, you can sample it for a mere $7. They've imported it under their Coastal Cellars label. If you enjoy red wines in this price range, you certainly want to try this one.
1995 Merlot, "Rousse Valley," Bulgaria
Coastal Cellars, Soquel, CA
Postscript: Those Stone Age vintners probably made red wine, but it wasn't Merlot. That varietal arrived in Bulgaria only some 30 years ago.
||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.
Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf
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
A Bargain Blanc
Winery of the Week
Mitchell's Magic Spell
This Merlot Steals the Show
An Original Zin
Old Versus New
The Lett Legend