September 26, 2016

Dear Friends of Shibumi Knoll,

Shibumi Knoll is a slice of heaven with a little magic thrown in.  From the very beginning, its creation was effortless.  As you drive up to the little knoll, a feeling of peace and relaxation wrap themselves around you, allowing you to forget the hectic thoughts of the day, then you toast to life with a glass of Shibumi, and all is well.

I’m so excited about the current vintages and the ones to come. I truly want you to try these wines because I think they have gone to a new level.  Maybe it’s the grapes, certainly the wine maker, but perhaps a little divine intervention from Don orchestrating from above.  From tiny buds to beautiful bunches to liquid joy, the combination is perfect.

This fall offering presents the 2013 Buena Tierra Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2013 Estate Cabernet.  The thoughts of beautiful fall leafs, warm comfort foods, like Coq Au Vin or braised short ribs with roasted vegetables drizzled with maple syrup, beside a glowing fireplace with a beautiful glass of Pinot Noir or Cabernet, bring a smile to my face.  These wines are simply delicious and smooth, full of complete, balanced flavors that flood your senses as they warm you soul.

Since the passing of my husband I seem to be falling in love with Shibumi even more. To help with this, there are three new members of the Shibumi Family I’d like to introduce to you. Please see the People page to learn more about Balthlazar Ross (aka Bali), Erin Hall and Desmond Echaverrie.

I want to thank all of the Shibumi Knoll customer family for not only loving my wine, but also for being the best.  So many of you have reached out to me with cards, e-mails and calls, sending your thoughts, personal stories and condolences for Don.  Truly sincere, caring messages from the heart and I’ve loved them all. Thank you many times over.  So let’s celebrate life, family and friends with good food, big hugs and a glass of Shibumi Knoll.

To life,

Joann Ross
Proprietor, Shibumi Knoll Vineyards


 Tasting Notes

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.

2013 Chardonnay

Every year that we have the opportunity to work with this old vine Chardonnay located on Eastside Rd in the heart of the Russian River Valley is a blessing. The old vine block was planted in 1972 and walking down the wide rows each vine has evolved into its own unique, gnarled shape. The cordon arms on each plant are robust and they hang clusters of fruit that are equally nuanced and character-driven.

The 2013 Shibumi Knoll Chardonnay has a deep halcyon hue in the glass. You can smell the aromatic notes of lanolin, honey, jasmine and citrus oil even when the glass is at an arm’s length away. As you taste the wine the palate resonates with notes of dried mango, Chinese medicinal herbs, honeysuckle, and lychee. One element of this wine that is readily apparent is how even-keeled and synthesized the fruit and acid components relate to each other as you experience the wine from the front to the back of the palate. The mouth feel is voluminous and expansive with a sleek, viscous trajectory. The finish plays out with a clean, bright sensation.