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Bravium North Coast Rose of Pinot Noir 2013
Bravium translates from Latin as "reward, prize, or gift." Derek Rohlffs - Bravium’s Proprietor & Winemaker - founded the winery in 2007. Derek always had a mysterious pull to nature. To hear him tell it, the vineyard is his destiny. Derek does not view his path to winemaking as a conscious choice, but more of an undercurrent that quietly ushered him to where he belongs.
Today, Derek welcomes the sight of hawks circling over the vineyards and swooping down to the earth around him. A single hawk’s feather fittingly graces the Bravium label, echoing the power, elegance, and vitality of the wines- and of Derek’s Cherokee roots. According to Derek, “A great wine will draw you into the people, the place, and the story behind it.”
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, Russian River Valley, Carneros, Mendocino Ridge and Santa Lucia Highlands. 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."
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.