Here’s the thing about Flora Springs — they are utterly reliable. Whether you’re looking for something big and bold (say hello to the Trilogy blend) or something light and crips (you must taste their Sauvignon Blanc) or something right in the middle (I’ve got a Chardonnay that’s right up that alley — review to come) — they’ve got something suited to every flavor profile and they do it well. I’d have to say that having tasted much of their portfolio, producing bold reds that are approachable now but can also age for decades is kind of their “thing.” Case and point, this 100% Merlot harvested from their very own estate vineyards along Napa’s valley floor.

About the Wine: The Flora Springs 2015 Merlot is made from 100% Merlot grapes harvested from the Flora Springs sustainably-farmed estate vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville appellations of Napa Valley. The wine was aged in combination new and seasoned French oak barrels (exact percentages unknown) for 19 months.

14.2% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Flora Springs 2015 Merlot and breathe in decadent aromas of blackberry and fig jam, milk chocolate, and just an utter sense of smooth richness. This Merlot presents a dark crushed red-violet velvet on the pour, settling into the glass just the same at the core, fading out to a softer maroon shade.

Initial aromas are of those jammy scents once again, plus some lush dark florals and a vibrant acidity. Swirl and find super plump black cherries, fresh herbs (like thyme), and still that scent of milk chocolate lingering in the background.

The palate of the Flora Springs 2015 Merlot is quite textural with a somewhat drying finish. There’s an acidic journey, multiple levels of textures, and an almost overwhelming hit of flavors. Dominant flavors include black mission fig, almonds, thyme, strawberry preserves, oakwood, and bramble.

Even after 20 minutes this wine opened up further, smoothing out the texture and making the acidic journey and flavor profile more cohesive. So, although I did not, I’d encourage you to open this wine up at least 20 minutes before beginning to enjoy and rest assured, the wine will continue to evolve throughout the evening.

Food Pairing: I paired the Flora Springs 2015 Merlot with a seared seabass filet, roasted potatoes and pearl onions, grilled asparagus, and a side of roasted red pepper sauce. What I liked about this pairing was, once the wine had opened up, the smoothness of the texture and the voluptuousness of the fruits paired perfectly with the texture of the seabass (an oilier/meatier white fish) and counterbalanced the heat in the sauce.

I would certainly drink this wine again, I think next time with a gamier meat — I’m thinking either a lamb or a duck with a decadent jus.

More Info: I received the Flora Springs 2015 Merlot as a sample for review. (Cheers Mora!) Retail: $30. For more information about Flora Springs, their wine, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Flora Springs website.

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