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Flora Springs 2016 Estate Chardonnay

John and Carrie Komes and Julie and Pat Garvey established Flora Springs in 1977, though the vineyard has history dating back to the early 1800s, when Napa was just forming its roots as a California wine region. So the families already had a jump start on success by purchasing fertile land perfect for crafting what they’d soon be known for — Bordeaux blends. But John Komes admittedly has had a “long love affair” with Chardonnay and it was, in fact, the first Flora Springs varietal he produced 40 years ago. And though he’s seen Chardonnay styles go in and out of fashion — from the classic Cali butter-bomb to the sometimes scandalous 100% stainless steel — current winemaker Paul Steinauer maintains the winemaking methods that expresses Chardonnay in the same way that enraptured John from the very beginning.

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Flora Springs 2014 Trilogy Red Blend

Flora Springs winery was established by John and Carrie Komes and Julie and Pat Garvey in 1977. But, as anyone at the winery will tell you, the property as a vineyard has history dating back to the early 1800s when Napa was just forming its roots as a California wine region. So the families already had a jump start on success by purchasing fertile land perfect for crafting what they’d soon be known for — Bordeaux blends. 1984 marks the first vintage of Flora Spring’s now infamous flagship blend, Trilogy — originally a traditional Bordeaux-inspired red wine consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, but today taking on a more modern, California approach blending together up to 5 Bordeaux varietals (including the addition of Malbec and/or Petite Verdot in certain vintages). The 2014 vintage marks the 30th anniversary for the flagship blend and it just so happens to coincide with the winery’s 40th anniversary. Quite a celebration! Unfortunately i was unable to attend the combined release-anniversary party thrown at Flora Springs earlier this month, but the kind folks from the winery were kind enough to send me a bottle of their celebratory wine.

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JN Wines Skull Ring Red Blend

Happy Halloween!

Nat Komes, General Manager of Flora Springs (and son of founder John Komes), and I have a few things in common — a love of Halloween and a love of good wine. Nat put his hands together when he created the Skull Ring Red Blend under Flora Spring’s sister label JN Wines. You may see the label and think “gimmicky;” you may read the blend — Syrah and Petite Verdot — and think “scary.” But I tell you to cast these assumptions aside because if there’s anything I know, it’s that Flora Springs crafts excellently balanced wines, especially when it comes to their red blends. And this crazy Skull Ring is no exception…

Happy Halloween!

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Chardonnay: Winemakers’ Play-Doh

Chardonnay — the decision of whether or not it’s one of your go-to varietals or if you’ve opted into the ABC club (Anything But Chard), is based on a certain stereotype. Oaky? (over-oaked?) Buttery? (butter-bomb?) Popcorn? (is that a good thing?) But the truth is that this green-skinned grape provides a whole spectrum of flavor profiles determined, predominantly, by the winemaker. But let’s back up a bit and learn a bit more about this (too?) popular varietal.

Photo Courtesy of wine-searcher.com

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