April 4, 2023
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Food & Wine and can be found here.
“41 Cabernet Sauvignons Worth Splurging On”
By Brian Freedman
These are the best bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon for your next anniversary, promotion, or big night in.
Great Cabernet Sauvignon can set you back by several mortgage payments if you’re not careful. Yet there are still plenty of splurge-worthy Cabs from around the world that ring in at under $150 per bottle…still a whole lot of money, but not in the realm of many Cab-based cult wines, or First Growth Bordeaux, which can easily stretch in to the four or five figures depending on the vintage and the provenance. The ones below, listed alphabetically, represent some of the top high-end Cabs around. They range from 2017 to 2020, and all are worth considering for special occasions as we head into the springtime holiday season of Mother’s and Father’s Day, graduations, and more. It’s also worth noting that, though a majority of these are from California, there are terrific ones that can be found from around the world, from great Bordeaux to South America, Australia, and beyond.
2019 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon
There’s so much ripe, sweet, generously spiced wild red berry fruit here, like strawberries and raspberries, as well as kirsch and balsamic notes that lend this wine terrific lift and energy. These notes are for the special holiday edition bottling, a blend of two key vineyard sources, but it speaks well of the range of Cabs produced by Flora Springs, as well.
Truly elegant and powerful wines, that reflect the place from which they originate. Learn more.
Our Holiday Bottles are our way of thanking members for their loyalty and providing them with uniquely elegant bottles ideal for festive holiday celebrations and thoughtful gifts. The brainchild of General Manager Nat Komes, whose grandmother, Flora, imbued him with a love for the holidays, each wine is meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one. As the only Napa Valley winery to offer new holiday designs each year, we pour ourselves into this annual project, ensuring that each bottle is absolute perfection inside and out. Learn more.
August 30, 2022
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in International Wine Review and can be found here.
Flora Springs is one of the Napa Valley’s storied wineries. Located at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range in Napa Valley, it became famous in the 1990s, especially for its Cabernet Sauvignon. We reviewed Flora Springs wines earlier this year and were so impressed with their Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon blend that we asked to taste their portfolio of single vineyard Cabernets, which are the wines we review in this article. These are exceptionally elegant and flavorful wines. Beginning in 2019, Enrico Bertoz is responsible for the winemaking, having replaced long time winemaker Paul Steinauer, who has retired. Read our earlier article for more about what’s happening at Flora Springs including a review of their unique Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc blend.
The 2020 Napa wildfires means Flora Springs had very limited production in that year. In short, if you want to buy Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon, do so now.
Flora Springs 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Holy Smoke Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley
Dark red. Shows an expansive nose of black currant with deeper notes of loam soil and chocolate shavings that are mirrored on a deeply flavored, mouth filling palate. The texture is silky with a firm structure, juicy acidity, and an overall sense of refinement. The oak is seamlessly integrated with just a hint of toast. And the finish is persistent with moderate tannins. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a single block planted to Clone 4 and matured 18 months in 80% French and 20% American oak.
Flora Springs 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Boar Vineyard Napa Valley
The Wild Boar Cab is a supple wine with good intensity of fruit. It begins with savory, earthy aromas married to cassis fruit. The attack is soft and refined, leading to a palate of dark fruit with hints of chocolate and loam. Surprisingly accessible with round tannins and a long flavorful finish. Of all the Flora Springs single vineyard Cabernets, this is the one we would choose to drink now. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 30% French and 70% American oak.
Flora Springs 2018 Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Napa Valley
Dark red. On the nose, gorgeous up front aromas of blackberry, cassis, and tobacco leaf. Silky smooth attack followed by a beautifully refined mouth feel and concentrated, layered flavors of dark cherry, dark berries and savory dried herbs. A youthful wine, it has a distinct stoney, chalky mineral character. Finishes with a long flavorful finish with soft round tannins. Surprisingly evolved for a mountain wine, but then 2018 was an exceptional vintage. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from one of the highest vineyard sites on the volcanic soils of Howell Mountain; matured 22 months in 94% French and 6% American oak.
Flora Springs 2019 Rutherford Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley
On the nose, the Rutherford Hillside shows earthy, dark fruit complemented by smoky oak and cooking spice. It’s soft and silky on entry with a beautifully balanced and pure, refined character. Black currant and black raspberry show on the firmly structured and densely flavored palate, but despite its youth this wine is accessible now. Finishes long with dark fruit, cocoa dust, and earthy notes. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a small block of vines on the northwestern edge of the Rutherford appellation aged 18 months in 90% French and 10% American oak. The Rutherford Hillside Cab has been produced as a single vineyard wine since 1994.
Flora Springs Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons
Truly elegant and powerful wines, that reflect the place from which they originate. Shop our current releases or contact us at (800) 913-1118 to inquire about other vintages.
January 24, 2018
By John Komes, Proprietor, Flora Springs
Everyone who knows me knows I have an affinity for wild boars. That’s why we named one of our Single Vineyard Cabernets Wild Boar.
My first encounter with a wild boar happened back in the mid-1970s. My dad had purchased some land over in Pope Valley, about 100 acres with 60 acres of vines. Back then, Pope Valley was even more remote and rugged than it is today. Even though it’s just a few miles east of Napa Valley proper, Pope Valley seemed – and still seems – like a step back in time. Anyway, there was an old house on this property that had nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms but no living room. One can only surmise what that house was originally built for!
Since I was a contractor, my dad asked me if I could add a living room to the house. I hired some workers, and one of them was up on a scaffold doing some plastering when he saw a wild boar grazing nearby. He called me and said ‘John, there’s a wild boar on your property. Can I shoot him?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you call the game warden?’ He said, ‘John, a wild boar is a varmint; all I need is your permission.’ I said ‘Ok, as long as you give me the hind quarter.’ So he got his gun, and he shot it. A few minutes later I got a call from my dad: ‘John, John! One of your guys just shot the neighbor’s pig!’”
And that’s how I decided to name one of our single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons “Wild Boar.” I guess I could have gone with “Neighbor’s Pig,” but Wild Boar has a better ring to it!
In 1997, we released our first Single Vineyard Cabernet — the 1994 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. At the time, Single Vineyard Cabernets from Napa Valley were quite rare. But John Komes recognized there was something special about a group of vines – Block J – located behind his home on the northwestern edge of the Rutherford appellation. Rather than blending he kept these wine lots separate and bottled less than 50 cases on their own, beginning a tradition we’ve held to ever since. The 1994 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon went on to receive 96 points from Wine Spectator. Learn more about our Single Vineyard Cabernets, including our newest release, the 2020 Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon.