Golden straw color with tropical fruit aromas. Apple flavors and oceanic minerality accent the palate of this approachable white wine.
Bright acidity makes the 2009 Bravium Chardonnay good on its own and with food. This medium-bodied wine will compliment petrale sole or halibut with butter sauce, mahi mahi with fruit salsa, and chicken dishes.
Bravium translates from Latin as "reward, prize, or gift." Derek Rohlffs - Bravium’s Proprietor & Winemaker - founded the winery in 2007. Bravium produces single vineyard, traditionally-crafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown in hillside and mountaintop vineyards. Bravium’s vineyards are located in the relatively cool growing regions of Anderson Valley, Carneros, Mendocino Ridge, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Sonoma Coast. Derek employs simple winemaking techniques - gravity-moving wines and bottling his red wines unfined and unfiltered - allowing the vineyards and vintages to remain at the forefront. "The longer I make wine, the more I subscribe to a 'less is more' approach," Derek has said. Critics are growing increasingly excited about Bravium's wines, placing it alongside benchmark "producers such as Rhys, Kalin Cellars, Porter Creek, Joseph Swan, Copain and Littorai," while calling out its "deft integration of oak, judicious use of whole cluster fermentation, pleasant aromatics, flavor without weight, and bright acidity for refreshing drinking."
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Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.