“Bravium” is Latin for “gift” or “prize” – in this case indication the gift of California’s coolest, best situated hillside sites with shallow soils – the sort sought out by his mentors at Rhys. His winemaking, naturally, is very minimalist – gently guiding what the vineyard gives him.
This Chardonnay is from the Reis Vineyard, planted at the top of a cool ridge with very poor, stony soils 9 miles from the Pacific. Rohlffs, a native Cherokee whoso parents named him “Winter Hawk,” often finds hawk feathers in this vineyard. (Hence the feather on its label.)
In fact, when Rolffs first visited this vineyard, he stepped out of his car and there was a hawk feather at his feet…which he took as a sign.
This Chardonnay combines the richly layered, sophisticated aromas and textures of those three times its price with wonderful freshness and vibrancy.
This bright and balanced wine perfectly reflects the cool-climate Russian River Valley vineyard where it was grown. Brilliant yellow-gold color, with fresh tree and tropical fruit aromas are highlighted by apple, pineapple, lemon oil, white flowers, and sea spray. The wine opens with gorgeous sweet apple and pineapple fruit flavors, with vanilla and honeycomb notes. A finely-textured, invigorating mouthfeel, with a generous mid-palate and medium-plus acidity, is framed by crisp fruit and subtle oak-derived flavors. Flinty minerality and refreshing acidity linger on the finish of this lively Chardonnay.
This 2018 is a bit richer and riper than the last two vintages, but still incredibly rich and refined.