|BUY MORE! SAVE MORE!|
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.
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.
Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers is a blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.
Deep color. Intense and persistent red fruits, spice and violet aromas. Intense black cherry, blackberry, blueberry and cherry flavors. Explosive fruit tannins give the sweet, creamy flavors structure and focus, bright and uplifting on the finish.
Enjoy this wine when young with grilled beef and bearnaise sauce, lamb and thyme. After 7-10 years excellent with game meats.
"Lastly, the 2015 Vacqueyras Cuvée des Templiers is made from an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was raised in concrete and stainless-steel tanks. Its ruby/plum color is followed by a medium to full-bodied, ripe, rounded effort that gives up outstanding notes of blackcurrants, thyme, leafy herbs and hints of pepper. This beauty is just more evidence for how good 2015 was for Vacqueyras."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2017), 91 pts
Principal Memorias Red Blend is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot.
The image on the label represents the "spiral of life", a symbol that is found in all major ancient civilizations that represents the cycle of life and the everlasting evolution.
Memorias is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that includes Petit Verdot and Syrah, which was carefully crafted to achieve a perfect balance. It stands out for its great structure with soft and round tannins that will allow a complex evolution in the bottle.
Denomination of Origin: Maipo Andes Valley
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot.
Vineyard altitude: 780 meters above sea level.
Soil: Alluvial/colluvial origin, clay loam.
Climate: Sub humid Mediterranean with huge influence of the Andes Mountain.
Total Acidity: 5.94 g/L
RS: 2.0 g/L
- Descorchados (November 2017, 93 pts
"Gonzalo Guzman Cassanello collaborated on El Principal's wines with Patrick Léon, the longtime managing director of Bordeaux's Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, who first came to Chile in the 1990s to work on Almaviva. In the ripe 2014 vintage, they blended a relatively high proportion of syrah and petit verdot (22 and 15 percent, respectively) with cabernet sauvignon, creating an intriguing take on Pirque. Its flavors hint at ripe strawberries and darker notes of wild blackberries, the sweetness of that fruit held in a clean, light and delicate frame."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2019), 93 pts
Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna is made from 65% Merlot 19% Cabernet Sauvignon 11% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot.
This Merlot-led blend is sourced primarily from the Valadorna and Capraia blocks, which produce the estate’s most complex and mineral-based expressions of this variety. The blocks are located within the cooler part of the estate, naturally irrigated by the stream that undulates through it, and feature sandy brown soils and lower yields than typical. These blocks are often the last Merlot blocks to ripen on the estate.
The 2015 vintage was almost perfect for growing wine. The winter was wet, storing vital groundwater for the warmer months ahead. Bud break at the end of March was followed by ideal weather for flowering which produced a perfect crop size. The summer was dry and warm with plenty of sunshine, but not in excess. Necessary rainfall arrived in the first weeks of August without any other rain events until October, creating ideal conditions for harvest. This will be a vintage to remember for its opulence and elegance. In warm years like 2015, Merlot shows its soft, savory and slightly racy character.
The wine exhibits hig-toned aromas of ripe black cherries, vanilla bean and cedar. With bright acidity, the wine expands quickly on the palate. Plush tannins carry through the center with a fine, tingling finish. The palate shows flavors of tart cherry pie, dried red berries and black licorice, with a long finish of white pepper, dusty roses and stony minerality.
The 2015 Valadorna (65% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) is a dark and thickly endowed red wine that boasts a rich and lasting grip on the palate. The bouquet offers depth and complexity with dark fruit, leather, cured tobacco and spice. There are also softer notes of chocolate and ground espresso beans. The wine's seamless integration of flavors leads to increased momentum and intensity as the wine continues to open in the glass.- Wine Advocate 95 Points
Clos Solene Hommage a nos Pairs Reserve is made from Paso Robles 95% Syrah, 3% Grenache and 2% Viognier.
Name means "Tribute to my mentors" in French. This wine was created to pay a tribute to all the winemakers that influenced Guillaume on becoming the Winemaker that he is today.Very elegant on the front palate, the wine is superb. Balanced and delicate with beautiful tannins, that will age for two decades.
Pairs with rack of lamb, fatty red meats such as Ribeye. Oriental dishes.
"Brilliant purple. A highly expressive bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, violet, incense and exotic spices, and a smoky mineral note emerges with air. Sweet, palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur, spicecake, vanilla and floral pastille flavors show outstanding depth as well as energy thanks to an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Smoothly plays power off finesse and finishes extremely long and precise, with resonating florality and fine-grained tannins emerging steadily. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (February 2020), 96 pts
"Coming all from Paso Robles, the 2017 Hommage A Nos Pairs is a Syrah-dominated blend that includes 2% each of Grenache and Viognier. It’s a ripe, sexy, opulent effort that boasts a deep purple color, stunning black fruits, chocolate, spice box, and meaty aromas and flavors, a rounded, hedonistic palate profile, and no hard edges. It has a kiss of salty minerality on the finish and can be enjoyed today or cellared for 8-10 years."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 96 pts
This is an epic bottling, overloaded with lush layers of umami and expertly captured fruit. Aromas of baked black plum, currant, cappuccino, dark chocolate and black pepper play on the nose. Framed by firm yet forgiving tannins, the palate combines dry elderberry and prune flavors with charred lamb and beef, asphalt and cracked pepper. This is powerfully elegant, with 3% Viognier and 2% Grenache.
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2021), 97 pts
Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The winery's historic Gaia & Rey Chardonnay is a wine that not only reshaped the legacy of the house itself, but also redefined Piedmont as one of the truly great winemaking regions of the world. Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja's daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo Gaja's grandmother Clotilde Rey (the family's great matriarch and one of its most forward-thinking visionaries), Gaia & Rey was first bottled in 1983 and released the following year. With this historic bottling, Angelo Gaja showed the world that exceptional white wines could be produced in the Langhe Hills, where red wines had been produced almost exclusively before. He also delivered to the world what is now considered one of the greatest white wines of Europe, a truly remarkable accomplishment in a country where red grapes have historically dominated the realm of fine wine. The 2017 vintage proves that great quality sometimes comes from scarcity. Three days of frost at the end of April set back the crop size by 10 percent, then high heat in summer and lack of rainfall presented challenges in managing the vineyards. The good news is that with strict selection and our no-compromise approach, the fruit harvested was healthy and excellent white wines were the result, despite the drop in production.
This wine was first made in 1983, and back then, no malolactic fermentation occurred. Jump forward in time to the 2017 Langhe Gaia & Rey, and this is another vintage in which malo did not start. (Partial malolactic returns in 2018). Since those first years of production, the oak usage has also been tweaked, now with less barrique in favor of more botte grande. Thanks to these changes, the aromatic profile of this wine veers toward citrus and rich tropical fruit, especially in a warm vintage such as this. However counterintuitive, this edition also shows a very bright and precise touch of acidity that serves to give the wine balanced and mouth-cleansing salinity.
- Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.
In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.
Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was
obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Flanagan Chardonnay Bacigalupi is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Just south of the winery, Bacigalupi Vineyard straddles Westside Road in the upper reach of Russian River Valley. The 125 acre vineyard encompasses a range of terroir, from heavier valley floor soil along the Russian River to alluvial clay loam on the rolling hillsides. The fruit is sourced from a superb block of 25 year-old Wente Clone vines located on the western slope of the site. Bacigalupi was the source of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that, famously, beat the French wines at the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976. Bacigalupi Chardonnay has a nose of lemon zest and vanilla bean. The palate opens with red pear and Meyer lemon, and brioche toast and honey comb notes on the finish. Like well-made Chardonnay from great vineyards around the world this wine benefits from getting some air, will age for years, and is best when served chilled around 50 degrees. This wine will evolve in the bottle for many years to come. A terrific wine from one of Sonoma County's top sites for Chardonnay.
"Fresh and floral, this bold, layered wine tastes of green apple, lemon and lime, with a pleasing bite of tartness on the midpalate. The acidity is persistent and supportive of the fleshy full-bodied nature of the tropical richness the wine otherwise presents. - Virginie Boone"
- Wine Enthusiast (August 2019), 91 pts
Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Five FACES is an acronym for the Fullerton family – Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric, and Susanne. The wines blend fruit from multiple vineyards in Willamette Valley, mainly in the north of the valley with one to the west in the Van Duzer Corridor. A full representation of the Willamee Valley’s soil types is on display with one volcanic vineyard, two loess (windblown) vineyards, and two sedimentary vineyards. The vineyards range in elevation from 550-700 feet.
Honeydew melon, japanese pear, apricot, honeysuckle, apple-blossom, nutmeg, brioche, and lemon curd. Melon is echoed on the palate with notes of lemon, tangerine, toasted almonds, and fennel. Lovely and integrated acidity balances the palate weight from 17 months on the lees.
17 months in 10% new French Oak
Paris with creamy dishes and cheeses. Chicken and Turkey.
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Bokkeveld Shale CY95 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The inspiration for this Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region has both a signature grape as well as particular terroirs within its demarcated boundary that reflect regional credentials. This Chardonnay was selected from a sub-region of Elgin from a specific vineyard and an individual clone.
Tasting Notes: Sourced from a parcel in the Western part of Elgin the 95 clone is known for its excellent quality creating wines that are aromatic, fuller bodied and rich yet tightly structured, well–balanced with length of flavor, managing to show restraint and mouth-watering passivity with a great line through the palate and fruit veering towards white peach flesh and nectarine. On Bokkeveld Shales it brings amplified perfume on the nose and persistence and elegance to the palate.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 liters per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulfuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.
"Minerals and a hint of flint on the nose. The expressive minerality of this wine also shows on the palate with complementary light stone fruit notes. Aged in 50% new 228L oak aging for 11 months."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 95 pts
Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek is 100% Chardonnay
Our Cold Creek Chardonnay is grown in the slightly cooler microclimate of the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros district to the west, where thick fog and cool marine winds protect its tender skins. Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France, Clones 15 and 95 at a 50:50 ratio exhibit an approachable style and luminous, golden color.
Tasting Notes: The appearance of golden straw leads you through an aromatic journey with notes of tropical fruits, sweet nectarine, melon, and vanilla. The wine has flavors of jasmine, citrus, and ripe Fuji apple that are complemented by a creamy mouthfeel and hints of lemon curd. The finish lingers on the palate, making you yearn for the next sip.
Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
50% Malolactic Fermentation
Segries Secret Grange Lirac Rouge is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.
This is a new wine for Chateau de Segries. 2013 is the first vintage.
The wine is dark and inky.
The aromas are intense and complex. It has fruit flavors of course, Strawberry and Blackberry, but it also have some interesting spice components, garrigue, pepper and licorice.
The finish is long and very pleasant as the tannins are round and well integrated.
La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
"The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts
Lima Adega Vinho Verde is made from 80% Loureiro and 20% Trajadura
All Vinho Verde (or green wines – meaning young, not green in flavor) are the best in the first 18 months. The wine is fresh, crisp, lively with a touch of spritz. It has some very interesting aromas of stone fruit and lime.
Portuguese Vinho Verde with a screwcap!
Loureiro: Loureiro is a white vine variety grown in the northern region of Portugal that produces an aromatic bay leaf scent. The pale-skinned variety is used to make the Vinho Verde white wine that of the Minho region.Traditionally, Vinho Verde wines include Trajadura and Pederna, but varietal Loureiro wines are becoming increasingly popular. The Loureiro variety is also grown in smaller batches in Galicia, which sits to the north of border of Spain. Loureiro variety grapes are high in acid and is sometimes called "Branco", "Marques", or "Redondo". In this region, the variety is used to create the Rias Baixas white wine, and is typically blended with the variety, Albarino. The wine works perfectly with fish, grilled good, sushi, shellfish, salads or fruits. The wine also pairs nicely with clams and white wine or fresh spring rolls. The variety is high in acidity and is typically bottled with a shot of carbon dioxide to maintain the quality of the wine and to give it a nice, bubbly texture. The taste of the wine includes aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and a mineral tone, and also has hints of floral aromas.
Trajadura: Trajadura is a white grape varietal also known as Treixadura. Trajadura originates from Portugal, particularly the Northern region. Trajadura is most famously used in Portugal's Vinho Verde wine, but Trajadura is also utilized in blends to add fullness and brisk citrus flavor. The low acid content in Trajadura, combined with a higher alcohol content make it an ideal and rare blending component in this particular climate region. When Trajadura is blended with Loureiro and Albarino it is the perfect balance for Vinho Verde. In Spain, Trajadura is called Treixadura and is most commonly found n Rias Baixas and Ribeiro. Spain also takes advantage of the blending characteristics while combining with Albarino, Abillo, Lado, Macabeo, Godello, and Torrontes. The Trajadura vines are recognized by average sized bunches that are dense with moderately sized berries. Trajadura ripens early, so to keep the acidity, it must be harvested rather early. The flavor profile for Trajadura will consist of apricot, peach, apple, lemon, and pear.
With low alcohol, it is best as an aperitif or with seafood. Definitely a summer drink.