Bravium Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2019
September 7 and 13, 2019
10 months in French and Hungarian oak (18% New)
90+ Points - “Derek’s 2019 Russian River cuvée of chardonnay is also a fine example, with a bit more apple and citrus in its personality than the lovely peachy tones found in the Anderson Valley bottling. The nose is pure and precise, jumping from the glass in a classy blend of apple, a touch of tangerine, lovely soil signature, gentle vanillin oak and a topnote of acacia blossoms. On the palate the wine is focused, full-bodied and has a nice core of ripe fruit, with a good girdle of acidity, lovely balance and grip and a long, nascently complex finish. This is a touch more youthfully primary out of the blocks than the 2019 Anderson Valley chard this year, so I might be inclined to give this a year or two in the cellar and drink the Anderson Valley in the meantime. Good juice. 2022-2030+.” – John Gilman
Valley Foothills Vineyard rests in the heart of Anderson Valley where the morning marine layer battles with afternoon warmth and sun. The Chardonnay in this bottle is grown in two blocks planted to Dijon selections. The cool nights at Valley Foothills Vineyard allow acidity to be retained during ripening. The resulting wine is intense, with lively fruit flavors and a lengthy, saline-tinged finish.
Favorable conditions at the start of the growing season – specifically bud break and flowering – in Anderson Valley were followed by uneventful weather throughout the year, saving a small dose of late rain in May. Steady, even ripening allowed harvest to occur at precisely the right time, without any heat spikes. I am fortunate to be growing grapes in such close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its moderating influence. Grape yields were above average and quality was exceptional in this temperate vintage.
This vivacious wine reflects the perfectly-sited vineyard where it was grown. Pale-gold in color, with fresh lemon and tropical fruit aromas, clove spice, exotic white flowers, and saltwater taffy. Opens with lemon meringue and apple pie flavors, with a lightly creamy mid-palate and medium-plus acidity. This Chardonnay is fully realized, deftly walking a tightrope balanced between generosity and elegance. Persistent and complex flavors – with a transparent soil signature – linger on the finish of this delicious wine.