This Cabernet’s Aging Capacity Is Out of Sight

June 30, 2022

Out of Sight Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Our Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon represents the best of both worlds: a wine that is wonderfully approachable in its youth, but with the capacity to age gracefully for five, ten, even fifteen years.

The secret? The wine’s tannin profile.

“The Out of Sight Cabs consistently have these lush, round tannins that make them immediately accessible early on,” says Winemaker Enrico Bertoz. “But these same tannins – which are essentially antioxidants – help the wines resist oxidation, which is what causes them to age.”

The quality of Out of Sight’s tannins is due both to its location and the vineyard’s soil profile. Situated on a gentle slope just north of the Coombsville AVA, Out of Sight is our southernmost Cabernet vineyard, and the soils are a beautiful gravelly loam. “The relatively cool microclimate combined with these perfect soils yield really small berries with a high skin to pulp ratio,” says Enrico. “This translates to very dark color and flavors that veer towards black fruit as well as those rich tannins.”

Because of the tannin profile, Enrico is able to leave the wine on its skin for up to two weeks after the primary fermentation is complete, a practice he began several years ago. This would be unthinkable with other Cabernets which have sharper, more angular tannins that need to be harnessed early on, but the technique works well with Out of Sight and contributes to its age worthiness.

Besides the single vineyard bottling, Cabernet from Out of Sight always makes it into Flora’s Legacy Cabernet and Trilogy. “It just always makes the cut,” says Enrico. No wonder it’s one of his favorites!

Out of Sight Vineyard, Coombsville AVA, Napa Valley

Planted on an oak-laden hillside between the Napa Valley AVAs of Oak Knoll and Coombsville, our Out of Sight Vineyard off the Silverado Trail is easily missed, hence its name. When we purchased the property in the late 1980s, the site’s gravelly soils and northwest exposure signaled great potential, but the tangled head-pruned vines also suggested years of neglect. After completely re-developing the property, however, our organically-farmed Out of Sight vineyard is today one of our most treasured fruit sources.

We Have a Thirst for Conserving Water

May 30, 2022

When you live in California, you understand deep down that water is a precious resource. Periodic droughts have been a fact of life here for decades if not centuries, and even in years when winter storms are plentiful, our Mediterranean climate means we get very little – if any – rain from May through September.

That’s actually good for grape growing, since wine grapes don’t require as much water as many other crops. But grapevines do need some water, and as farmers we’re always looking for ways to irrigate as judiciously as possible. It begins by studying our soils.

Komes Ranch Rutherford Napa Valley

One vineyard or even one block can have several types of soils; Napa Valley has more than 100 soil variations. We know that soils heavy in clay need less water than sandy soils, which drain more easily. So we adjust our irrigation regimes to match these different soil types.

For example, at the Komes Ranch, we have six irrigation zones within one 15-acre block. Once we’ve “mapped” the soils, we use several different technologies to measure vine stress during the growing season. These include aerial images (known as Normalized Dierence Vegetation Index or NDVI) that help us understand which sections of our vineyards are undergoing heat stress. We also use fancy sounding evapotranspiration sensors, sap flow meters and soil sensors that measure the water content of our soils and stress of the vines.

By using these measurements, we are able to precisely target the areas of our vineyards that need irrigation. Over the last few years these technologies have resulted in water savings of approximately 50%. What’s more, we’ve found that being more precise in our irrigation practices results in higher quality grapes, a win/win for us and the planet!

Vineyard Views Napa Valley

Napa Valley Vineyards

With estate properties stretching from the cool, rolling hills of Carneros to the famed sub-appellations of Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena, Flora Springs produces varietal wines ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals. Each year the family selects a small percentage of the yield for their own wines, selling the remaining fruit to neighboring Napa Valley wineries. This selection puts the focus on quality, not quantity, resulting in hand-crafted wines that meet the family’s exacting standards. Learn more about our Napa Valley vineyards.

Sustainable Farming

As a family that came to the wine business as farmers first, our love of the land influences everything we do. Our environmental stewardship led us to embrace sustainable and organic farming early on. Our search for superior vineyards sites led us to acquire land in some of Napa Valley’s finest appellations, including Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena and Carneros. Over the years, as we’ve planted and replanted this land to vines, we’ve experimented with rootstocks, clones, trellising systems and a variety of viticultural techniques, always striving to produce the best possible quality.

Every wine we produce, from Trilogy to our single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, is crafted to express the singular soils, microclimates, and beauty of its respective vineyard origins. Learn more about our sustainable farming practices.

 

Flora Springs Sangiovese Featured in Napa Valley Life Magazine

May 2, 2022

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in the Napa Valley Life Magazine and can be found here.

2018 Sangiovese from Flora Springs in Napa Valley

“Napa Valley is synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon, so why do producers craft wines from varietals that seem “out of place” for the region? Although Napa Valley has hung its hat—for good reason—on Cabernet, the region’s diverse terroir is what allows for the wide range of varietals that successfully grow in the right microclimates. Add that to passion and talent, and a great viticulturist can team up with an experienced winemaker to turn a non-Cabernet varietal into a truly fantastic Napa Valley wine.

Enter Sangiovese. This thin-skinned grape variety can be tricky to grow, but select Napa Valley producers have mastered the art of crafting this finicky grape into spectacular wine…”

At Flora Springs Winery, General Manager Nat Komes admits that they have “found the southern part of the valley to be a good area for Sangiovese.” Komes stands by the cool breezes in southern Napa Valley blowing up from the San Pablo Bay as one of the main factors for helping their Sangiovese retain the quintessential acidity for which the grape is known. Much like Laura and Brian from 601 Cellars, Komes’ family has a “fell in love” with Sangiovese memory from a trip to Tuscany. “Our Napa Valley Sangiovese stands out primarily because it is becoming so rare,” Komes stated. The estate’s 2019 Sangiovese is a member’s only wine packed with cherry, pomegranate, and red plum—it’s well worth signing up to get your hands on this bottle…” Read more.

Flora Springs Sangiovese

Sangiovese is the grape most commonly found in the famed Chianti region of Italy, and this version, from a south Napa Valley vineyard cooled by the San Pablo Bay, benefits during the growing season from a consistent weather pattern of cool, foggy mornings that melt into warm, sunny afternoons. Bursting with fresh fruit flavors of Bing cherry, pomegranate and red plum, this fleshy, mouthfilling red shows accents of mocha, warm spice and licorice. Despite a dense profile, fresh acidity keeps this one bright and focused through to a lingering finish. A crowd-pleasing wine, take this one to your next family dinner. Learn more about the 2019 Sangiovese.

A Wine Like No Other

December 16, 2021

The year 2018 marked our 40th harvest at Flora Springs, a milestone we commemorate with this special bottling of single vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Celebrating Our 40th Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon.

Flora Komes, Harvest 1978, Napa Valley
Flora Komes Working the First Flora Springs Harvest in 1978

 

“Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth”

“Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth” originally appeared in an 1807 book on botany by Robert John Thornton. The print now resides in the digital collection of the New York Public Library.

The label is a reproduction of a print titled “Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth,” created by the artist Richard Cosway in 1807. Nat Komes came across the illustration in a book given to his grandmother, Flora Komes, many years ago. “I immediately looked up the origin of this image, which captures my grandmother’s spirit so completely,” says Nat. Moved by this timeless image and Flora’s oft heard saying, “Love the land and it will love you back,” Nat decided to use this illustration on the wine that celebrates his family’s 40 years of farming the land.

“Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth,”Art
The “Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth” Print Nat Found in His Grandmother Flora’s Book
The Original “Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth" - Now in the Digital Collection of the New York Public Library
The Original “Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth” – Now in the Digital Collection of the New York Public Library

 

2018 Celebrating Our 40th Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon

The Wine

An excellent vintage in 2018 yielded a big, concentrated wine with forward flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and crème de cassis that coat the mouth in luscious blue/black fruit. Hints of coffee, dense dark chocolate and sandalwood emerge in this layered and complex Cabernet, and though muscular and powerful, the wine’s silky-smooth tannins keep it approachable even in its youth. Still, this wine will reward aging for the next 20 years and should be decanted if opened within the next five. This highly collectible wine is like no other, the last Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to be sourced from Rennie Vineyard on our former St. Helena wine estate.

2018 elebrating Our 40th Harvest Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Napa Valley Harvest

2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley. Bud break began in late February/early March followed by an extended flowering period in May/June that yielded uniform grape clusters. The summer continued with typical warm temperatures but no significant heat spikes. Harvest was later than in recent years, accompanied by mild weather through September and October that allowed grapes to be picked at optimum ripeness and flavor. Napa winemakers agreed that 2018 was one of the least eventful and finest growing seasons they’d witnessed, yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance.

Learn more about this one of a kind wine.

In the Vineyards

July 29, 2021

With harvest just around the corner we thought we’d take you through a pictorial of the 2021 growing season so far. Though we have yet to bring our grapes in, our weather has been lovely in Napa Valley and we’re looking forward to another outstanding vintage.

February:Vines are Dormant

Vineyard in February

These neatly pruned vines in John Komes’ vineyard were dormant back in February, patiently waiting to wake up for the 2021 growing season.

March: Budbreak

Budbreak
Budbreak, when buds swell and the vines put out their first leaves, occurred right on time, rippling through our vineyards in March.

May: Fruit Set

Vineyard Flowering

Just a few weeks later in May, flower clusters destined to become grapes began to appear, a growth stage known as fruit set. Photosynthesis and vine growth sped up dramatically.

Late May: Canopy Management

Napa Vineyard Late May

Within a couple of weeks, the vines had full canopies which we managed by hand throughout the season to ensure the grapes had just the right amount of dappled sunlight.

June: Berry Clusters

Vineyard Berries

The first berries to form in June were green and hard to the touch. The clusters looked very healthy though, and we began to get a sense of how big the vineyard crop is going to be (hint: small).

July: Veraison

Veraison

In late July the fruit started to go through veraison, the period when the grapes soften and develop color. Just a few weeks from now we’ll be in harvest, and at Flora Springs we can’t wait!

A Ground Breaking Innovation: Rutherford Hillside Reserve Single Vineyard Cabernet

June 3, 2021

We’re often asked which of our Single Vineyard Cabernets is our favorite, and the answer is always the same: we love them all! But our Rutherford Hillside Reserve does hold a special place in our hearts, as it was the first Single Vineyard Cabernet we produced.

It was 1994, and in Napa Valley, wines bottled exclusively from one vineyard were still somewhat rare. But John Komes recognized there was something special about a group of vines located on the slope leading up to the northwestern edge of our estate in the Rutherford appellation. He kept the wine from this block separate, and bottled less than 50 cases on its own, dubbing it the Rutherford Hillside Reserve. John’s instinct proved prescient: when our first Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet was released in 1997 the Wine Spectator awarded it 96 points.

John Komes brings in Cabernet Sauvignon destined for our Rutherford Hillside Reserve
John Komes brings in grapes from the Komes Ranch in Rutherford

 

Five Years Earlier

1994 wasn’t the first time this block was bottled on its own. Beginning in 1989, Flora Springs produced a Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the same vines. In fact, the 1991 Flora Springs Rutherford Reserve Cabernet earned 97 points and the #3 spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list in 1994.

Library Vintage of Flora Springs Single Vineyard Wines

Flora Springs’ Rutherford Reserve was the predecessor to our Rutherford Hillside Reserve. In 1994 John added “Hillside” to the name, creating the first vineyard-designated wine from Flora Springs.

2008 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The label has changed over the years, but our Rutherford Hillside Reserve is still grown on our estate vineyard in Rutherford.

Rutherford Dust

The Rutherford AVA is arguably one of the finest places to grow Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley, and the location of our Rutherford Hillside Reserve vineyard, on the western slopes of the AVA on what is often called the Rutherford Bench, is one of the most coveted in the appellation. Our vineyard lies on a gentle incline leading up toward the Mayacamas Mountains. Here the soils rest on a gravelly bed deposited by an old stream, providing excellent drainage. The climate, moderately warm with occasional morning fog and frequent afternoon breezes, is ideally suited to Cabernet. The combination of soil and climate results in a unique flavor profile referred to as “Rutherford Dust,” often described as powdery-soft dusty tannins with notes of fine cocoa powder.

Looking east to the Napa Valley floor from our vines on the Rutherford Bench
Looking east to the Napa Valley floor from our vines on the Rutherford Bench
New plantings for the Rutherford Hillside Reserve
New plantings for the Rutherford Hillside Reserve

 

2019: A Stellar Vintage

The early part of the 2019 growing season was defined by heavy rainfall which replenished reservoirs and gave the soils plenty of moisture. A long, warm summer featured few extreme heat events, and the typically foggy mornings set the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Harvest was long and relatively mild, helping to preserve freshness and finesse in the fruit with extended hang time teasing out great color, structure and soft tannins. Crop volume was average to a little less than average. In the end, it was another amazing vintage yielding exceptional fruit with bright acidity and ample flavor and texture. The 2019 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine you can drink now or cellar, it will continue to age through 2037.

2018: A Vintage for the Ages

2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley, yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance. Our 2018 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French and American oak for 18 months, offers pure Cabernet fruit centered on currant, blackberry and black cherry, with ancillary notes of brown spice, dark chocolate and espresso. It is a complex, full-bodied wine that finishes with ripe, chewy tannins. This is the Cabernet you bring out when you want to impress. It will age beautifully for at least another 15 years.

2018 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Our 2018 Rutherford Hillside Reserve is a showstopper

 

Your Cellar Will Thank You

The Rutherford Hillside Reserve is one of Flora Springs’ most age worthy Cabernets, a wine that will provide enjoyment for ten, fifteen or even twenty years when properly cellared. Each year we make a certain amount of the previous and/or older vintages available on a limited basis. Be sure to check the store on our website for these periodic library releases.

A Love Affair with Chardonnay

April 8, 2021

Flora Springs’ love affair with the Chardonnay varietal began when the winery was founded in 1978. In fact, you could say that it’s Chardonnay that put our winery on the map so many years ago! It has always been one of John Komes’ favorite wines, and since that first vintage, he’s made a Chardonnay every year we’ve been in business. We’d like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at it, always using the best fruit from our Napa Valley vineyards. To celebrate #ChardonnayDay on May 27, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our favorite Chardonnay milestones.

Pat Garvey First Harvest at Flora Springs
Vineyard Manager Pat Garvey watches as our first Chardonnay grapes are processed
Our first vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay
Our first vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay
Matriarch Flora Komes Overseeing Harvest
Matriarch Flora Komes oversees our first harvest

 

Our Napa Valley Chardonnay Gets the Gold!

Back in the 1970s and 80s, the highest accolade a winery could earn was a Gold Medal from a wine competition. Our 1979 Napa Valley Chardonnay won a Gold at the prestigious Los Angeles County Fair in 1980. The recognition put Flora Springs on the map, and made everyone, including ourselves, take our winemaking a little more seriously

 

Full Steam Ahead

“With that surprising win, what had begun as a hobby was becoming a business, and Flora Springs went full steam ahead with producing the very best wines possible.”

Flora Springs News Article

 

A “First Growth” Chardonnay

In 1990 Wine Spectator columnist James Laube published California’s Great Chardonnays, recognizing Flora Springs Chardonnay as one of the state’s “First Growths” for the varietal.

James Laube California's Great Chardonnay

 

A Wine for the White House

Over the years Flora Springs Chardonnays have been served at dinners at the White House and the U.S. Capitol, functions attended by heads of state, congressmen and women and government dignitaries.

White House Menu

 

The Legacy Continues

Today we make three Chardonnays, our Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay, the Family Select Chardonnay, and our Jon Nathaniel Lavender Hill Chardonnay, all sourced from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley. While they differ, each one carries the signature style for which we are known: beautiful forward fruit aromas and flavors, rich body and texture from barrel aging and lees stirring, partial malolactic fermentation, and just the right amount of acid to keep the wines fresh and perfectly balanced.

Napa Valley Chardonnay Bottles

 

Recent Press

“9 Places to Taste Excellent Napa Valley Chardonnay” by NapaValley.com
“While officially founded in 1978, grapes were first planted on this St. Helena property, located at the foot of the Mayacamas, in the late 1800s, which marked the start of Flora Springs’ fascinating history. The winery produces several different chardonnays, each with a unique flavor profile, from the juicy and tropical Family Select Chardonnay to the limited-production Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay, made from a barrel selection of the finest chardonnay of the vintage, in honor of Flora Komes, the inspiration for the winery.

Insider Tip: Flora Springs feels so strongly about the quality of their chardonnay and other white wines that the winery has been a leading proponent of the movement to introduce the #whitewineemoji.” Read the full article.


Shop now, order deadlines for delivery by Mother’s Day start April 28 and for #ChardonnayDay start May 13. See details and shipping times.

The Beginning, Middle and End: The Story of the 2018 Trilogy

February 19, 2021

by Enrico Bertoz, Winemaker

2018 Trilogy Red Blend

The 2018 Trilogy is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and if you’ve been keeping track, you’ll note these are the same three varieties that have comprised Trilogy since 2013, although in different percentages. The blend is not a given; each year we start from scratch, evaluating the wine lots and determining what will make the finest wine.

Of course Trilogy is always centered around a strong core of Cabernet Sauvignon…that much we do know. Cabernet gives the wine its strongest, most concentrated fruit component, as well as its full body and fine tannin structure. Cabernet endows the wine with aging power. Malbec, on the other hand, gives the wine an opening, with rich, dark fruit that makes you sit up and take notice right away. Petit Verdot, in contrast, stretches the wine, leaving you with a long, satisfying finish. It adds color too, but it’s the lingering quality of Petit Verdot that I really love.

So you see, at least in 2018, and in the previous five vintages, Malbec and Petit Verdot provide the framework for Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s like a painting you’d find in a museum, where the gilded frame is the platform and the finishing touch on an otherwise beautiful portrait. Next year may bring a different blend, with other varieties. We never know until we start to taste the new lots. What we do know is that our mission with Trilogy, since the beginning, is to create the best wine possible from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley. In that we will never waver.

Learn more about this wine.

A Tasting Room for the Senses

January 28, 2021

by John Komes

It was the early 1990s and Flora Springs had been in business for just over ten years when I decided we needed to have a tasting room on Highway 29.

There wasn’t quite as much tourism in Napa Valley as there is now, and I wanted a place right on the highway where people could easily visit us. I bought a building – an old HVAC shop – just south of the old Dean & DeLuca gourmet grocery (now Gary’s Wine & Marketplace) in St. Helena. I cleaned it up, installed a circular bar, hired an artist to paint some wall murals, and opened up for tastings.

But business was slow. I kept hearing folks say they hadn’t “noticed” the tasting room, even people who stopped at Dean & DeLuca. I decided to do something about it. My wife, Carrie, and I had recently visited Barcelona and seen many of the buildings designed by renowned architect, Antoni Gaudí. I loved the flow and imagination of his structures, the fanciful nature of his designs.

You can guess what happened next.

Wine Tasting in St Helena
Wine Tasting Napa

When I returned to St. Helena I consulted with a local architect, and together we designed a new Tasting Room that echoes, in Gaudí-like fashion, the look and feel of a wine cave set into a mountainside. We used bent plywood to give the structure its curvature and painted the outside to represent geologic striations in the earth.

Inside we created separate tasting areas made to feel like private rooms in a wine cave, and installed a curved tasting bar with a modern bistro vibe. The rooftop, which has magnificent views of mountains and vineyards to the west, feels like a comfortable living room, a place where people can relax and enjoy a glass of wine.

Wine Tasting in Saint Helena

Wine Tasting in Napa

Wine Tasting in Saint Helena

Thanks to my son Nat, our Tasting Room has gotten some upgrades recently, and I’m excited about the improvements. I always wanted it to be a place where people could indulge their sense of sight as well as taste and smell. Most of all, I want the Tasting Room to inspire curiosity and delight, to be the place where people come to learn more about the legacy of Flora Springs.

Now we are thrilled to be reopening for outdoor wine tasting, by appointment. Plan your Napa Valley wine tasting adventure today.

 

Flora Springs Tasting Room
677 S. Saint Helena Highway
Saint Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-8032

Reasons to be Grateful in 2020

December 23, 2020

Despite its many challenges, 2020 also offered new ways of interacting with you, a few “firsts,” and many reasons to be grateful. Here are just a few:

Our family presented leis to the first 100 guests at our 2017 Trilogy Party.
Trilogy Release Party

We found new ways to connect with you through virtual tastings and curbside pickups.St Helena Tasting Room

We were named “Best Hidden Gem Winery” in Napa Valley Life Magazine.Outdoor Wine Tasting in St Helena

We released the 2017 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon—our first new Single Vineyard Cabernet in over two decades, with a 94 point score from James Suckling.Single Vineyard Cabernet

We celebrated John Komes’ 80th birthday.John Komes

We released our first wine in cans, the 2019 Honest Bucker Pinot Grigio from sister brand Bodacious Wines.Wine in Cans

We shipped a record amount of wine to Wine Club Members and customers; thank you for your support!

@livegoodwithmax

 

 

We completed our 42nd harvest.Napa Valley Harvest

We supported Napa Valley wildfire relief efforts with a Halloween Dinner & Wine event and other initiatives, and thanks to you, donated over $5,500 to the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Fire Disaster Relief Fund.

@DowntownDani

 

 

 

Maximilian Riedel, 11th generation glassmaker at the world-renowned Riedel Wine Glass Company, shared his experience of opening and tasting our 1991 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with his 88,000 Instagram followers: “..what a joy. The wine has been in my cellar for a very long time…look at that color, fun. Cheers!”

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Maximilian Riedel (@maxiriedel)

As another year comes to a close, we want to take a moment and thank you for letting us be a part of your lives. We are fortunate and grateful that you choose Flora Springs to accompany your meals, toasts, celebrations and special occasions. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2021!

Menu