April 27, 2017

Dear Friends of Shibumi Knoll,

Napa Valley has been bathed in rain this winter and now the drought has passed! The grass and hills are vibrant green, the mustard blankets the valley floor and we rise out of the storms to a hopeful harvest to come. The young leaves and tiny bunches of grapes are showing their beautiful bounty. It’s so lovely to see spring in the valley; it makes me smile and warms my heart.

Living in the valley being surrounded by vines you don’t see the vines as just rows and rows of carbon copies of each other, you see them as individual living breathing family members. They become precious and like any family member you want to protect and treat them with the upmost care. The Chardonnay vines being older and producing such wonderful wines are a treasure. They are gnarled and big with massive trunks, but even with their advancing age, when the fall comes around the grape bunches are full and abundant.

This release is our 2014 Buena Tierra Vineyard, Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is a superstar. Each vintage has its own personality and each vintage has never let me down. Its magic is in the grapes that hang from our old vines. The complexity of age and maturity run through the vines pouring all of their knowledge into succulent, tight, golden bunches of grapes. They are picked and then Thomas Rivers Brown goes to work. He’s like a master conductor giving direction and building passion to create our chardonnay.

I always enjoy time with my customers and love having you and your friends come visit the knoll. I don’t have a formal tasting room, but I do host people by appointment at my home. Shibumi is for passion, fun and celebrating life and friends. I look forward to seeing you and yours at the knoll soon. I hope you love Shibumi as I do.

Drink moderately but well,

Joann Serafini Ross
Proprietor, Shibumi Knoll Vineyards


 Tasting Notes

2014 Chardonnay

Our Chardonnay in glass has a rich golden complexion, beckoning you to taste. You can smell the delectable notes of warm vanilla, honey pomelo with a hint of flirtatious spice. As you taste the wine, elements of lemon, green apple and grapefruit, kissed by a floral blush are immediately sensed by your palette only to be balanced by warm caramel. The mouth feel is warm and luscious as the finish plays out with a clean, fresh sensation. The wine is balanced and complex making it drinkable now and will carry on beautifully for years to come.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

The namesake knoll from where this fruit is sourced is part of a larger area of the Napa Valley floor in the far north of St Helena where there is topographical undulation, indicating a onetime geologically active area where there was plenty of movement and unsettled earth as the valley floor was forming millions of years ago. The benefit is wine grapes grown in an area like this display more complexity and in particular, spice notes that other valley floor sites do not inherently possess.

The invitingly beautiful, rich, lush burgundy color is your first sense engaging you to taste. The nose gives off black currant, velvety vanilla, subtle fig, and crisp bell pepper with a clean refreshing hint of grapefruit. The finish is long and beautiful with a liveliness and hint of richness, all leading you to a pleasurable lasting finish.

2013 Pinot Noir

Of all the California heritage Pinot Noir clones, the Swan clone is a complimentary match for the soils and climate in the Russian River Valley, where it originated. The vines in the block from which this fruit was sourced is 100% Swan clone planted in 1989. This wine shows some of the best traits of what is capable in a Russian River Pinot Noir while also avoiding many of its trappings.

Its complex nose tantalizes your senses with blackberry fruit, rose petal notes, white pepper, fennel and earthy leather and tobacco aromas. The taste offers a full-bodied rich sensation but not heavy, with a soft velvety texture leading to a substantial flavor despite its delicacy.