Bravium Russian River Chardonnay 2019
Russian River Valley
September 10, 23, and 26, 2019
10 months in French and Hungarian oak [22% 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
Our Chardonnay vineyards are located in the cool-climate of the western portion of California’s Russian River Valley. Two vineyards comprise this wine, located in the small towns of Forestville and Occidental. Both vineyards are regularly blanketed by fog and a view of the Pacific Ocean, with one of them resting directly adjacent to Russian River. The vineyards are planted to a number of Chardonnay selections, including Dijon and Wente vine material which - combined with the large diurnal shift - allows for acidity to be retained during ripening. Shallow soils also allow for ripening to occur at a relatively low degree Brix. The combination of these terroir attributes provide prototypical Chardonnay character and hallmark Bravium balance.
Favorable conditions at the start of the growing season – specifically bud break and flowering – in Russian River 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 bright and balanced wine perfectly reflects the cool-climate Russian River Valley vineyards where it was grown. Brilliant medium-gold color, with honey, pear, apple, pineapple, lemon oil, and white flowers aromas, and a judicious framing of vanillin oak. The wine opens with crisp pineapple and mango fruit flavors that turn into apple and pastry on the full-bodied mid-palate. A finely-textured, invigorating mouthfeel, with medium acidity, turns into flinty minerality on the ripe and bouncy finish of this lively Chardonnay.