Bravium

Owner(s) Derek Rohlffs
Web site www.bravium.com
 
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Bravium

Bravium, Latin for "reward, prize or gift," is a winery featuring traditional, minimalistic winemaking by proprietor and winemaker Derek Rohlffs. Rohlffs is a graduate of University of California at Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies and completed winemaking coursework at University of California at Davis and traveled to wine regions in France, Italy and Australia to hone his winemaking approach. He has been crafting wine since 2000.

Bravium produces vineyard-designated and appellation-designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the flagship Bravium label. The winery is located on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Bravium's vineyards are located in the Mendocino Ridge (Signal Ridge Vineyard), Napa Carneros (Beau Terroir Vineyard) and Sonoma Carneros. Quantities are small (96 to 448 cases per wine) and are sold direct to mailing list members and through select retail and restaurant placements.

A portion of the profits from the sale of all Bravium wines support Sip & Give, Bravium's charitable giving.

Reviewed Wines

2014 Bravium Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $24. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. · Moderately light pinkish orange color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, blood orange, nectarine, apricot and a touch of spice and herbs have good intensity. A good grip of acidity underlies the fruit core and contributes a finishing burst of citrusdriven acidity. Score: 89. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2014 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.23, TA 0.712, 64 cases, $24. Three winemaking techniques involved: direct press, short-term maceration, and a saignée portion. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak barrels with all wine aged in oak for a limited time. Unfined. · Light cherry red color in the glass. The nose is extremely heady for a rosé and I loved it. Aromas of cherries, rose petal, pine sap, and herbs lead to a flavorful core of cherry, strawberry, spice and herb flavors. A little more substantial than your usual rosé, with plenty of Pinot character, and inviting intensity of flavor on the crisp finish. Highly enjoyable. Score: 91. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.73, 147 cases, Prerelease. Clone 114, 115, 667, 777. Yield 1.8 tons per acre. 20% whole cluster, native fermentation in 1-ton fermenters. Aged 10 months in Francois Frères 4-year air-dried French oak barrels, 20% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant out of the bottle with aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, apple and spice. Intensely fruity, with flavors of blueberry, pomegranate and black raspberry framed by balanced tannins. Smoothly textured and easily approachable. The intensity carries over to the finish that features an acidic tang and a charge of oak. Score: 88. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Abbassi Vineyard Sonoma Carneros Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.33, TA 0.7, 212 cases, $34. Sourced from an old vine vineyard planted in 1976 to Wente clone Chardonnay. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in Hungarian oak barrels, most of which had been seasoned for 4 years. Partial malolactic fermentation. Unfined. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Those nose opens nicely over time to reveal pleasing aromas of white peach, honey, vanilla and a hint of floral goodness. Bright flavors of lemon and pineapple are presented in a crisp style with a welcome hint of oak seasoning and a slightly shrill, soprano finish. Score: 88. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Beau Terroir Vineyard Napa Carneros Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.73, 147 cases, $39. Prerelease. Vineyard planted in 1994 and located adjacent Stanly Lane Vineyard. Swan, 115, Pommard clones. Yields 1.4 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in Francois Frères 4-year air-dried French oak barrels, 10% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of herbs, cherries, and mushrooms on the grill. The light to mid weight flavors of darker cherries and raspberries are accented with tastes of spice, herbs, mushroom and noticeable oak. The tannins are soft and supportive and there is bright acidity on the finish. Score: 88. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.77, 336 cases, $49. Released April 16, 2015. From a vineyard at 2,642 feet elevation that is extremely exposed to maritime influence. It is planted to a variety of Dijon and heritage clones in sandstone, clay and gravelly loam soils. Yield 1.6 tons per acre. 30% whole cluster, native fermentation in one-ton fermenters. Aged 10 months in Francois Frères 4-year air-dried barrels, 33% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate dark reddish purple color in the glass. The fresh aromas of black cherry and spice are framed by scents of espresso and tobacco. Soft in the mouth with middleweight, oak-kissed black cherry, boysenberry and pomegranate fruits that fill the mouth and really grab on to the expansive finish. The fruit load is tempered by plenty of lively, citrus-driven acidity. The fruit is this wine is very special, but there is too much oak at play. Check back in a year or two. Score: 89-90. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Oak Barrel Aged Pinot Noir Blanc

12.7% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.77, $49. Pommard, 37, 115, 538, 667 and 777. 100% de-stemmed, immediately separated from skins upon arrival at the winery. Spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel drums followed by aging in neutral French oak barrels. · Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Shy aromas of citrus oil, white stone fruits and vanilla. Rounder and more polished than the steel tank aged version, with spirited flavors of yellow stone fruits and citrus, and a finish flush with fruit. Score: 88. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.77, 190 cases, $49. Yield 1.58 tons per acre. Pommard, 37, 115, 538, 667 and 777. 15% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, spontaneous fermentation in 1-ton fermenters, pressed into Francois Frères 4-year air-dried French oak barrels, about 15% new. Aged 10 months and bottled in July 2014. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, strawberry and earthy flora with a significant oak overlay. Light weighted and elegant, this wine features delicate red cherry and berry flavors framed by suave tannins. The wine is a bit dilute, under ripe and oak-driven with a somewhat short finish. Score: 87. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Bravium Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Steel Tank Aged Pinot Noir Blanc

12.9% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.77, $49. Pommard, 37, 115, 538, 667 and 777. 100% de-stemmed, immediately separated from skins upon arrival at the winery. Spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel drums followed by aging in stainless steel tanks. · Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Pleasant but highly unusual nose sporting aromas of mashed banana, bergamot, citrus, green leaf and pecans. Similar to a white Rhone wine on the palate, with flavors of pear and peach set off by a subtle herbal tone. Slightly plush in the mouth with good vibrancy on the finish. Score: 87. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 Bravium North Coast Rosé Wine

12.3% alc., pH 3.27, TA 0.697, 84 cases, $19, screwcap. 98% Pinot Noir (Signal Ridge Vineyard) and 2% Chardonnay. Aged in both stainless tanks and neutral oak. Unfined. · Moderately light red color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, cranberry, cherry, blood orange and floral tones. Soft and perfumey on the palate, with flavors of strawberries, cherries, and red hard candy. Very fruity in style with a subtle sweet character. Decent. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.41, 144 cases, $39. Unreleased. 7 heritage and Dijon clones. 20% whole cluster, native fermentation, aged 19 months in 30% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Aromas of cranberry, cherry and herbs build in intensity over time in the glass. The mid weight core of dark cherry, red berry, rhubarb and mocha flavors fill the mouth with pleasure. The prominent oak sheen needs time to integrate. The wine finishes with a delightful, acid-driven and cherryimbued finish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.61, 288 cases, $34. The vineyard is on a steep mountainside three ridges in from the Pacific Ocean at 2,642 feet elevation. Relatively shallow and rocky soils. Wide variety of clones and selections including Pommard and Swan. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 16% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak. Native fermentation in one-ton fermenters. Aged 11 months in 33% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, deep red rose petals and pine needle. Tasty with good intensity, featuring flavors of black cherries black raspberries and pomegranates with a hint of tea. Impeccable balance with mild tannins and juicy acidity, finishing with impressive intensity. Blossomed beautifully the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, displaying a dreamy, velvety mouth feel and seductive flavors. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.60, 96 cases, $34. From the Volamus Vineyard, located in the Petaluma Gap, and planted in 1999. Dense plantings of 115, 667 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentation, aged in 25% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Great nose with explosive aromas of black cherries, redwood and spice, holding up nicely over time in the glass. Very soft in the mouth and highly flavorful with a core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits, accented with notes of dark chocolate and spice, finishing with a refreshing edge of citrus-driven acidity. Ready to go now. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Volamus Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.61, 96 cases, $34. 4,500 vines on 3.5 acres. Clones 115, 667 and Pommard farmed sustainably. Hand pressed, 25% whole cluster, racked once after MLF, aged in 50% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. A more serious, complex wine that will benefit from more time in the bottle. The aromas open slowly in the glass to reveal hi-tone notes of dark berries, spice, forest floor and a hint of vanilla. Dark berries are the featured fruit with undertones of dark chocolate, clove and allspice, all wrapped in dry, chalky tannins, finishing with razor sharp acidity. A little more body, nuance and class than the Sonoma Coast bottling. Very good (+). Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Dragonfly Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.634, 72 cases, $39. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 25% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged in 66% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Incredible nose that keeps pumping out aromas of fresh dark berries over time in the glass. Delicious core of black cherry and dark berry fruits, exotically spiced with a hint of toasty oak in the background. A seamless wine with powdery tannins and a finishing lift of decadent fruit that returns in waves for several encores. An exceptionally dreamy wine. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Jackpot Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.60, 72 cases, $39. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 20% whole cluster, native fermentation, aged in 33% new 4-year air-dried Francois Frères oak barrels. 25% whole cluster, 7-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged in 66% new Francois Frères oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries, cassis, spice and oak. Redder fruits are featured on a mid weight frame. Light and juicy with supple tannins and a good finishing grip of acidity. Pleasant and easy to drink, but lacks a mid palate and finishing punch of fruit. Good (+). Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Bravium Signal Ridge Vineyard Sundance Block Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.60, 96 cases, $39. Yields 0.65 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, native fermentation, aged in neutral French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark red cherries and berries, fruit bin and mushrooms. A little riper and more savory with flavors of black cherries, plum, spice and mushrooms. The tannins are soft and supple and the finish is juicy and appealing. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Bravium Thomson Vineyard Napa Carneros Chardonnay

14.3% alc. pH 3.51, TA 0.6, 288 cases, $24. Clones 17, 76, 96 and 97. Aged in a combination of oak barrels and tanks. Partial MLF. Unfined. · Very light yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon, nuts, honeysuckle and seasoned oak. Light, soft and delicately flavored, with notes of pear, hazelnut and caramel. A well-crafted, but very understated style that just didn’t grab my attention. Decent. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »