Presenting 2015 Year of The Pig Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum

January 21, 2019

Year of the Pig Napa Cabernet

Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival,” is China’s most important traditional festival. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day. The Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February. In 2019, Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 5th.

In the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the Year of the Pig – an animal that to the Chinese symbolizes wealth as well as diligence, compassion and generosity. The pig is the twelfth and last of the Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming that the animal is last because it was late to the party at which the order of animals was decided.

We have chosen to celebrate the Year of the Pig with this playful, strikingly etched and hand painted magnum of our 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Twice the size of a standard wine bottle at 1.5 liters, magnums are ideal for entertaining, for extended aging – and also make stunning gifts. Only 180 bottles were produced, learn more about this very limited wine.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2018

Top Nine Instagram Posts of 2018As we look towards the new year, we also take some time to look back on an amazing 2018 with our top nine Instagram posts.

Our love of Halloween shows, our plea for the #whitewineemoji still stands, gorgeous views inside and outside the winery delight – and, of course, we saved a skunk. Cheers to a great year!

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Flora Springs

December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays from Flora Springs

Our Holiday Toast For You

Like Santa’s elves, our Flora Springs team works all year to craft amazing wines fit for your special celebrations.

We are honored to be part of your cellar and your holiday traditions. We are deeply thankful for your continued support, and look forward to seeing you soon in 2019!

Happy Holidays,
The Komes & Garvey Family
and The Flora Springs Team

Flora Springs Featured in The Sacramento Bee

December 18, 2018

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in The Sacramento Bee and can be found here.

Dunne on Wine: A California wine for everyone on your gift list

The Sacramento Bee Napa Valley MerlotFor every grape variety it handles, from cabernet sauvignon through malbec, Flora Springs Winery is one of the more consistently reliable producers in Napa Valley. It just never disappoints, and each year at least one of its wines ends up on my list of favorites. This year it is the Flora Springs Winery 2015 Napa Valley Merlot ($30), which all on its own could revive merlot as a staple of the American table for its vivacious fruit, startling complexity and refreshing buoyancy. There are suggestions of plums, cherries and raspberries in aroma and flavor, to be sure, but more intriguing is its thread of green olives.


Helpful Links:
2015 Napa Valley Merlot – sold out
2016 Napa Valley Merlot

Making Spirits Bright at The Room

December 2, 2018

Note: The following article was originally and published in The Mercury News and can be found here.

4 spectacular Sonoma and Napa wineries dress up for the holidays

St Helena Tasting Room

Countless wineries offer suggestions and specials on their wares to make the yuletide merry, but there are some that go way beyond the bottle to make spirits bright. These Sonoma and Napa estates and tasting rooms take bedecking and bedazzling to the next level as proof that it’s not just harvest that’s the most wonderful time of the year. Here are are four special spots to explore….

Winery namesake Flora Komes loves the holidays and each year, her grandkids and winery employees go up to her attic for decorations and inspiration. The main estate on Zinfandel Lane is always decorated, but it’s the main tasting room on Highway 29 that gets the full tree and tinsel treatment. A giant wreath and ornaments outside make the already eye-catching modern building even more noticeable. Inside, it’s wall-to-wall trees, wreaths and garlands.

They even bottle up their contagious Christmas cheer in special seasonal releases, including a cabernet called Holiday Helper, and a holiday red blend in a trio of etched bottles with artwork inspired by Flora’s Christmas card collection, such as this year’s toy soldier and snow globe of the estate. For true cabernet connoisseurs, the Three Kings vertical includes the 2014-2016 vintages for a gift that’s fit for, well, a king.


Helpful Links:
Visit The Room
Holiday Wines
2016 Holiday Helper Cabernet Sauvignon
Three Kings Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 3-Bottle Vertical

2019 Wine Club Shipment Schedule

December 1, 2018

Greetings Wine Club Members!

We have a lot of exciting things planned for you in 2019, including new exclusive events, special offers, and more. We so pleased you will be joining us for another great year.

Please remember that this schedule is subject to change, but we will always keep you updated.

logo-preferred-palates-small

Preferred Palates
Shipment Wine Shipping Date
February 2016 Trilogy, 2016 Flora’s Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon 2/11/18
April 2016 Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon 4/8/18
June 2016 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 6/10/18
August 2016 Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon 8/12/18
October 2016 Holy Smoke Cabernet Sauvignon 10/14/18
December 2016 St. Helena Rennie Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 12/9/18

Great Tastes
Shipment Wine Shipping Date
January 2016 Napa Valley Merlot, 2016 Poggio Del Papa 1/14/18
March 2018 Pinot Grigio, 2016 Trilogy 3/11/18
May 2016 Petit Verdot, 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet 5/13/18
July 2018 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Three Keys Cabernet 7/8/18
September 2017 Ghost Winery Malbec, 2017 All Hallows’ Eve Cabernet Franc 9/16/18
November 2016 Holiday Etched Wines – 2 different designs 11/11/18
Great Tastes Red Wines Only
Shipment Wine Shipping Date
January 2016 Napa Valley Merlot, 2016 Poggio Del Papa 1/14/18
March 2016 Trilogy – 2 bottles 3/11/18
May 2016 Petit Verdot, 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet 5/13/18
July 2015 Three Keys Cabernet – 2 bottles 7/8/18
September 2017 Ghost Winery Malbec, 2017 All Hallows’ Eve Cabernet Franc 9/16/18
November 2016 Holiday Etched Wines – 2 different designs 11/11/18
Great Tastes White Wines Only
Shipment Wine Shipping Date
January 2017 Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc – 2 bottles 1/14/18
March 2018 Pinot Grigio – 2 bottles 3/11/18
May 2018 Rosé – 2 bottles 5/13/18
July 2018 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – 2 bottles 7/8/18
September 2018 Family Select Chardonnay – 2 bottles 9/16/18
November 2018 Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay – 2 bottles 11/11/18

 

Please contact the Wine Club department directly at (800) 913-1118 or wineclub@florasprings.com with any questions or if we can be of assistance.

Interested in our Wine Clubs? Learn more about the benefits of membership.

Flora Springs Featured in Wine Spectator

November 28, 2018

Note: The following article was originally written by Kim Marcus and published in the Wine Spectator on November 30, 2018 and can be found here.

Peaks & Valleys
California Merlot is at its best in Napa, where vineyards at diverse elevations deliver distinctive styles

Though Merlot is grown throughout California, Napa Valley is by far the variety’s powerhouse appellation. Yet the region’s wines are not all cut from the same cloth. There’s a marked contrast in style between wines grown on the valley floor and those sourced from mountain sites. The driving force in both types is texture, but the valley wines tend to be fleshy and richer, while higher altitudes provide more structure and purity of flavor. The two top bottlings in this report-one from a high-elevation site and one from valley vineyards—help bring those styles into focus, and their differences can be instructive when it comes to making buying decisions with this versatile grape.

In the past year, I’ve tasted 135 Merlots and Merlot-based blends, with an impressive 43 scoring an outstanding 90 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale. (A free alphabetical guide to all wines tasted for this report is available.) The flagship mountain bottling is the La Jota Howell Mountain 2015 (93 points, $85), which offers intense and pure red fruit flavors. La Jota is in the stable of the Jackson Family group of wineries, as is another outstanding mountain Merlot, the Mt. Brave Mount Veeder 2015 (91 $80), with robust and well-knit dried berry and black fruit flavors. The wines are firmly tannic and fresh-tasting, hallmarks of the higher altitudes where they were grown—both at about 1,800 feet, though on opposite sides of the valley.

Skilled Jackson Family veteran Chris Carpenter made both La Jota and Mt. Brave. “There’s a structure to mountain Merlot that is incredibly compelling. And a lot of how I think about Bordeaux varieties in the mountains is tannin development,” he says. “How are the tannins in sync with the sugars, phenols, acid and other compounds? Ultimately, I’d like to have them all in their respective sweet spots, but they all act independently of each other.”

Tannins are usually bigger in mountain-grown grapes, which are typically smaller in size than valley fruit and have a higher skin-to-pulp ratio (skins are tannin-rich). The small berry size is mostly due to the poorer soils and cooler conditions found in the mountains. “The vines are struggling here more than on the valley floor, because there’s very little clay in the soils that retains water and [the soils] are low in nutrients,” Carpenter adds. “Tannins are protective and are there to allow the fruit to ripen.”

To help wrangle those tannins, Carpenter employs a variety of techniques. He is careful to optimally sequence the harvest down to the individual row or plot, which is complicated by the many vineyard exposures, including the shadows cast by tall mountain forests. That’s more of an issue on Mount Brave, where the slopes are steep compared to the relatively level terrain found at the top of Howell Mountain. In the cellar, Carpenter encourages modest exposure to the softening effects of oxygen through aerative pump-overs along with gentle racking into barrels.

The top representative from the valley floor this year is the Venge Oakville Oakville Estate Vineyard 2015 (93, $70), big and rich, with luscious dark fruit flavors. Grab this one while you can, because its vines were pulled for replanting after the vintage. It was made by Kirk Venge, of the family-owned estate in Calistoga, who is now hoping replicate its quality in future vintages with fruit from the nearby Kenefick Ranch vineyard, among other sources.

“I love the approachability of Merlot. The flavor profile has a softer body to it. It’s fun to see its personality and, compared to Cabernet, it shows the terroir better,” Venge says. “We’ve always stuck by Merlot and never abandoned it, even with Sideways,” he adds, referring to the 2004 hit movie in which Merlot was disparaged and that many believe led to the sizeable drop in demand for the wines in the ensuing years. “It’s wonderful in a blend and great by itself, but it is hard to grow because it is prone to poor fruit set and overcropping. It can give you some attitude.”

Venge points outs that he considers Kenefick, which features a very gentle slope at the base of the Palisades cliffs just south of the town of Calistoga, to be more a benchland site than a pure valley vineyard. It also one of the warmest areas in Napa, and Venge is careful with canopy management to protect against the strong rays of the sun. The soils here are gravelly and well-drained, traits the site shares with the vineyard that produced last year’s top-scoring Merlot, the Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley 2014, which also took Wine of the Year honors.

“We do ripen earlier here but it’s a good location. It gets sun, that’s for sure, but a little later [in the day] because of the Palisades and the narrowness of the valley here,” Venge explains. A tasting of the yet-to-be-released 2016 Kenefick Ranch Merlot revealed richness to the sanguine and spice box flavors. Venge added 5 percent Petit Verdot to the cuvée to build structure and boost depth of flavor; Carpenter added 3 percent Petit Verdot and 2 percent Tannat to his 2016 La Jota for the same reason.

In the list of recommended wines that accompanies this report, you will find additional examples of both mountain and valley styles. From the mountains, besides La Jota and Mt. Brave, top wines were made by Luna, Pride and Beringer. Due to their powerful structures, most would benefit from short-term cellaring and should be good matches for roasted meats and other savory dishes. The leading Merlots of the valley style include those from Flora Springs, Darioush, Stewart and St. Francis (in Sonoma). These are fine for sipping on their own or paired with pasta or grilled steak.

On the values front, you have to be choosy. High-yielding Merlot can taste thin and herbal, and it requires committed winemaking to make high quality affordable versions. Planting it in the right terrain is key as well—with rich soils, the grapes can overproduce and turn weedy; in poorer soils, the tannins can turn tough.

“Like Cabernet does on thinner soils, Merlot can become a raisin even more quickly due to the size of the berry. Or at least head in that direction. Therefore I look for more glacial soils, loam soils, and if they have some clay, even better,” says Nick Goldschmidt, whose Goldschmidt Dry Creek Valley Chelsea Goldschmidt Salmon’s Leap 2015 (90, $20) is one the top values in this report. Other key factors for Goldschmidt include selecting rootstocks in the vineyard that can produce ripe fruit in California’s bone-dry summers without dehydrating. In the cellar, keeping quality high means long fermentations to extract as much flavor as possible.

Wine Spectator Merlot Recommendations
John Komes, president of Flora Springs, produced an outstanding and well-priced Merlot with its Napa Valley 2014, a concentrated and spice-accented version from valley floor vineyards.

 

An exceptionally priced wine for the quality is the Flora Springs Merlot Napa Valley 2014 (92, $30), with silky tannins behind the spicy red fruit flavors. Outside of Napa and Sonoma, the choices are more limited, though it’s worth the search to experience the varying expressions of this versatile grape. Paso Robles is a reliable alternative, with the likes of the San Simeon Estate Reserve 2014 (90, $22), a big and rich red with loamy accents to the dark fruit flavors, and the Maddalena 2014 (88, $18), with red fruit flavors and minerally overtones.

“The most expensive wine in the world is a Merlot [Petrús in Pomerol] and we should have a Merlot that garners that kind of respect,” though not at such a high price, says Jackson Family’s Carpenter. “We have the terroir for it.”

Ambitions still run high in California for Merlot, both on the mountains and in the valleys. And with the best versions generally rich in dark fruit flavors and appealing spice and savory herbal notes, and a bit softer and more open-textured overall than Cabernet, Merlot remains an enticing big red from the Golden State.

Senior editor Kim Marcus is Wine Spectator’s lead taster on California Merlot.

It’s in the Details: Flora’s Legacy

November 20, 2018

The idea for Flora’s Legacy wines – a tribute to Flora Komes, the woman who inspired Flora Springs – came from third generation family member, Nat Komes, Flora’s beloved grandson.

With its etching of a crown, the bottle itself is a nod to this amazing woman, who was born in Hawaii and often told stories about being descended from Hawaiian royalty.

Napa Valley Wine Gifts
Every year, we involve the whole family in the creation of these wines, selecting the finest barrels in the cellar and gradually narrowing it down to a blend of the few barrels we like best.

Learn more about these small, sometimes single, barrel lots hand selected by our family members. We would be honored to be a part of your family holiday gathering.

Napa Valley Wine Gifts

 

 

Ruth Harper’s Special Holiday Delivery

November 15, 2018

Ruth Harper, the illustrator who designed our 2016 Holiday Helper Cabernet Sauvignon and our 2015 Dashaway Chardonnay and whose work has been featured in many New York Times #1 best-selling children’s picture books, received an early Christmas gift.

Read more about the making of the 2016 Holiday Helper Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Menu