Overview of the Wine
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 the 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.
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, Eugenia 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 16 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. Shibumi continues to receive high scores from the Wine Spectator.
This ancient block of vines, now over 50 years old, has produced some incredible Chardonnay vintage after vintage.
Grape / Blend
Russian River Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
This vintage of Chardonnay has a beautiful fresh feel. It’s well balanced with a sunshine citrus nose. The taste is of pineapple accents, apricot and nectarine essence. It coats your palate and warms your throat. The finish is long and lovely making you want more. This chardonnay is sophisticated with an adventurous spirit.
94 Points - Ian Blackburn
Thomas Rivers Brown services a huge number of great producers in Napa and Sonoma. Yet, each wine is so unique and attuned to its place with a differential that other winemakers of his pear group do not always achieve. Here, there is a tension, a lees note, a structure, a vibration, a concentration - a goal. The vineyard must give this type of note and cadence (like a drum bounding) to inspire such winemaking... and like a conductor leading a symphony, the song of SHIBUMI Knoll Buena Tierra is unique and deserves great respect. I think the acidity here is distinctive and rewards the batonage driven, unfined and unfiltered style. There is a rawness to this wine that I appreciate - and think this tightly wound wine will continue to reward collectors for a very long time. Enjoy now but I think 5 years on this Chardonnay will even make it more "WOW" - Nose of apple, lemon curd, vanilla and spice, mouth is generous and adventurous with a sensational arch of acidity and longevity. Color 13.5/15, Aroma 23.5/25, Body 23.5/25, Overall Impression 33.5/35 = 94 points
92 Points - Wine Spectator
91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Showing nicely, the 2018 Chardonnay Buena Tierra Vineyard has plenty of classic honeyed orchard and lemon fruits to go with background notes of toasted bread, spice, and honeyed flower-like aromas and flavors. It's rich, medium-bodied, and nicely textured on the palate, with lots of charm
Product Size: 750ml