April 30, 2018

Dear Friends of Shibumi Knoll Vineyards,

It’s a pleasure to offer you the latest Shibumi Knoll vintage: the 2015 Buena Tierra Chardonnay.  It makes me happy that so many of you enjoy my wines and I love your emails telling me about your Shibumi experiences.  Wine is truly meant to be fun, delicious and celebratory leaving all those wonderful lasting impressions and great memories with us throughout the years.

Thinking back on 2015, the Napa Valley was still in a drought during the 2015 growing season and the grape vines were struggling to produce as much fruit as in past years. But, the amazing thing about the grape vine is its resilience.  The yields were low, but the concentration of flavors packed into the grapes that matured was incredible.  I think because of this the 2015 Chardonnay is an exceptional vintage.

This Chardonnay’s elegant beauty in the glass is a testament to the old vines that make up this wine.  The grapes keep producing stunning complex flavors as if they had been waiting all their lives to fulfill their purpose to produce great wine.  The vines might have been torn down back in 2003 if my late husband hadn’t recognized what great potential they had and, as they say, the rest is history.

I still can’t believe how so many of the vines withstood the fires of last year.  I know there are some scientific reasons, but I think there’s some sort of miracle mixed in.  Trees were burnt, land was scorched, houses burned to the ground, yet in the middle of it all you can see acres of vines untouched.  This is visible in all areas where the fire spread.  Wine goes back to the first known production in 4100 BC.  This will to survive is something to be respected and celebrated.  Cheers to the grape!


Joann Serafini Ross
Proprietor, Shibumi Knoll Vineyards


 Tasting Notes

2015 Chardonnay

I loved this vintage ever since I opened the first bottle back in late 2017.  This vintage is a combination of the 2013 and 2014 with the smooth, lush Shibumi texture we love.  It’s elegant, fresh and delicate.  It has aromas of lemon tart, apple and cinnamon on the nose that offers a sensation of sunshine.  Its complex flavors of vanilla, pear, peach and apricot gives it a warm, smooth mouth feel.  To add to the beautifully balanced wine are spices and acidity that balance it out leaving you with a clean, fresh, long finish.


2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

The first opening of the 2014 Cabernet was at an Italian restaurant in Napa.  It was shy at first sip, but refreshing, delicious and delicate, yet sophisticated with complex flavors belying its youth.  A smile came to our faces immediately with a knowing nod that this is and will be a really good vintage.  The appetizer came, a decadent foie gras pizza, and the combo was outstanding.  The Cabernet brought forth an earthy, leathery nose with a velvet mouth feel.  As the dinner went on, the wine opened up with black current, tobacco and a burst of flavors on the back of the throat.  We all agreed we loved the wine from the start and it just got better and better, you cannot go wrong.  It’s that wonderful, relaxing glass of wine where you can sit back and enjoy the balanced sensation of great flavors, a real pleasure.


2014 Pinot Noir

The first tasting of the 2014 Pinot Noir was the next night at Shibumi Knoll with friends.  The dinner was simple with my garden tomatoes, mozzarella, and watermelon salad aside good old-fashioned hamburgers on the grill.  Pinot is such a beautiful wine; it stands alone and offers an experience that should be part of a wine lover’s cellar.  Pinot brings thoughts of beautiful, soft summer nights and glowing holiday dinners.  The sophistication was one of my late husband’s most loved characteristics of wine and I grew to understand why.  When you pour Pinot, it has such a, well, pinot smell that fills me with memories and a longing to taste.  It is delicate and delicious, but intense and bold at the same time. You taste cherry, plum and peach, but then the complexity comes on with fig and spice, white pepper, gingerbread and rose.  There is a warm silky finish that fills your senses.  This wine is one to be experienced and loved. It will fill your heart and make you smile.