RUSSIAN RIVER, BUENA TIERRA VINEYARD
On the nose, you smell honeycomb and apricot with a slight hint of warm spices. The color is bright, clear and golden with legs that gently slide down the sides. The taste is a treat of Meyer lemon and vanilla with a touch of Crème Brulee. Its fresh, smooth and delicate. The complex flavors of the old vines make this wine an old soul. The finish lingers just long enough.
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts
"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts
"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 pts
With its maritime influence, California's Monterey region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance.
Mandolin Chardonnay has a lush tropical fruit core, balanced by crisp acidity and nicely integrated oak.
The grapes for this Chardonnay were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County, where high winds, dry days, and bay fogs create a cool, but very long, growing season. These growing conditions are ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Chardonnay, and lead to full, forward fruit flavors and ideal acidity. Grapes were harvested at an ideal balance of sugar and acid, and the wine was fermented in 1-2 year-old French oak barrels. This wine did not undergo malo-lactic fermentation, thus preserving its bright acidity. Total Acidity: 0.70 pH: 3.45 Residual Sugar: 0.51 g/liter
Press whole cluster.
Barrel fermented in 50% new oak with Assmanshausen yeast.
100% ML completed.
Maipe Chardonnay 2013 is made from 85% Chardonnay, 15% Viognier.
5 hour maceration on skins in temperature controlled steel vats; fermentation with selected yeasts at 14°-16°C; 30% malolactic fermentation.
30% was aged in French oak barrels.
Brilliant yellow golden color with green hints.
The wine is crisp and filled with white peach, pear, green apples flavors, toasty vanilla. Elegant and luscious wine, well balanced. Crisp and long finish.
Pairs well with creamy soups, pork, veal, vegetables.
Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.
Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.
Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.
RUSSIAN RIVER, BUENA TIERRA VINEYARD
Rich Fruity concentrated and delicious with great acidity. The wine is pure, and elegant with layers of flavor and a smooth texture. Ends with a long lingering finish.
"Weaves together a mix of grapefruit and lemon notes, with green apple, melon and white peach details. A juicy, complex and approachable Chardonnay, with a very long finish. Drink now through 2020. 700 cases made.–JL"
- Wine Spectator (June 2016), 94 pts
Don was a serious collector (and consumer) of fine wines for over thirty years. In January of 2003 we brought a small knoll 3.5 miles north of Saint Helena in the heart of the Napa Valley. Included in this two acre parcel was a rocky .75 acre Cabernet vineyard planted in 1996, a very modest vineyard cottage (originally a stone barn built in 1921), a guesthouse and a winery. After an internal remodel of the cottage, many gallons of paint and extensive landscaping, the knoll became our home.
Many years ago we read the book Shibumi, which became one of our favorites: adventure, intrigue, romance, the book has it all. The book introduced us to the concept of Shibumi, a Japanese word describing a physical and emotional state which most nearly translates to “the pursuit of perfection though simplicity” or “Effortless Perfection”. Life on our little knoll in a simple cottage surrounded by vineyards, canopied by majestic oaks and blessed with bucolic 360-degree views, is truly one of perfection through simplicity. Hence when we decided to make wine under our own label, “Shibumi Knoll Vineyards” seemed perfect.
We feel blessed to live in the beautiful Napa Valley and thank you for loving our wines.
It is said by Burgundian vinters that the grape is simply a vehicle that allows the vineyard to express itself. Shibumi Knoll is located in the center of the Napa Valley .3 miles off Highway 29 and a quarter mile from the Napa River. It is on the alluvial fan of Mill Creek and is composed of 80% rock. Thus the wine shows the grace of Napa Valley Cabernet yet has the structure we see in wines from stony hillside vineyards. We harvest the grapes when they are ripe but not overly so. Therefore our Cabernet shows many qualities of a great red Bordeaux. Because of these qualities it is a favorite at The French Laundry.
Our first vintage of Shibumi Cabernet was the 2003. The grapes were processed at Benessere Winery located about a half mile north of Shibumi Knoll. There, while watching the grapes being processed, Don met another vintner, Eugena Keegan, who was bringing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from Sonoma County. Eugena asked Don if he’d like to barrel taste her wines. The last wine he tasted, a chardonnay from Buena Tierra Vineyards, he felt was stunning. Eugena was moving to Oregon so he approached the owner of Buena Tierra Vineyards, located on the Russian River in Sonoma county about buying the grapes. The owner explained that because the vines were 35 years old and grape production was down, he was going to replant the 2.4-acre block. Don offered to pay full production price for whatever grapes were harvested, an agreement which has continued for 12 years.
The Shibumi Knoll Buena Tierra Chardonnay has proven to be among the best in the country. The 2005 vintage received a 97 from The Wine Spectator, tied for the highest score given California Chardonnay in the first decade of this century.
This ancient block of vines has produced some incredible Chardonnay vintage after vintage.
In the summer of 2012 Don was walking the Buena Tierra Vineyard with Thomas Brown when Thomas pointed to a small block of Swan clone Pinot Noir and said “I could make some great Pinot Noir from these grapes.” 2012 was our first vintage from this block. Our Pinot Noir is a favorite of many among the wines we produce.
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts
Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
The Merlot-dominated 2018 Valery (there's 11% Cabernet Franc) comes from two great vineyards, Boushey and Champoux, and spent 20 months in 28% new French oak. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a great nose of black cherries, plums, dried herbs, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, soft tannins, and a great finish. This ripe, plump, sexy Merlot has loads of character and will keep for a decade. It has a certain Pomerol-like elegance, and I’m a fan.
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points