2016 Bravium Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $20)

SKU #1369627 91 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Readers looking for a terrific value in California Chardonnay should check out the 2016 Chardonnay Russian River Valley. With clean orchard fruits, spice, and hints of brioche, it's medium-bodied, lightly textured and graceful, with beautiful purity of fruit and length.  (6/2018)

91 points John Gilman

 It has been nearly a year since I tasted a bottle of the 2016 Bravium “Russian River Valley” bottling of chardonnay and the wine has blossomed beautifully. The nose wafts from the glass in a mix of apple, pear, acacia blossom, alluvial soil tones, a nice touch of almond and a very discreet framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core of fruit, excellent acids and a long, balanced and beautifully focused finish. This is classic Russian River chardonnay that is opening up beautifully, but has the chassis to age nicely for the next decade or more. Fine juice. Drink between 2019-2030.  (2/2019)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine boasts a lush palate of apple, pear and Meyer lemon. It is grainy in texture and supported by oak, yet there's a steely thread of acidity to help balance the richness. *Editors' Choice* (VB)  (4/2018)


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By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
This Russian River Valley Chardonnay has a soft nose with scents of yellow apple and other orchard fruits. The aromas are also supple and creamy with vanilla and butter. The fruit components come out more on the palate which also has more acidity with lemony citrus flavors and a little salinity. The result is a Cali Chard that's rich but also zippy, displaying a friendly balance.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.