Tag: napa wine

Flora Springs 2013 Ghost Winery Red Blend

¡Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Flora Springs creates beautifully balanced red blends that could knock the socks off of even the most discerning wine drinker. But the winery also knows how to have some fun. Each year, the winemaking team creates a unique Halloween-themed wine in honor of their “Ghost Winery” in St. Helena. Apparently the historic stone cellar, built in 1885, has a few — shall we say — lingering guests.

The Flora Springs 2013 Ghost Winery Red Blend, available through the winery’s website, comes in three different labels, designed by Virginia-based artist Wes Freed. While technically “Halloween-themed,” something about Freed’s artwork this year just said “Dia de los Muertos” to me so…

¡Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

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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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AMB Wines Ambrosé 2015 Rosé

Passion project of two Napa Valley natives, Jake Krausz (Estate Director of Arkenstone Vineyards) and Vincent Traverso, this simply labeled “California Rosé” is anything but simple. To look at it, with it’s darkish color in the bottle, the extremely large font, and the generic label — you may think (like I did) that this is some kind of weird blended saignée-style rosé made from leftovers. It’s actually, quite the opposite.

In fact, Krausz and Traverso started this project to get rid of the “California Rosé” stereotype…

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Flora Springs 2016 Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc

John Komes, co-owner of Flora Springs, may have a self-proclaimed love affair with Chardonnay, but his son Nate, general manager at the winery, is a fan-boy for Sauvignon Blanc. The Komes family have been farming the white grape for over three decades, utilizing the the two vineyards sourced for this bottle for the past two decades. Apparently there has been some talk about, and temptation to, graft these vines over to Cabernet Sauvignon (Flora Springs is well known for their big bold reds.) But with Nat’s encouragement, the family’s held back. And, personally, I’m glad they have. Well structured Sauvignon Blancs are hard to find — but with the clonal mix along with the combination of different aging techniques, that’s exactly what Flora Springs have produced with this 2016 vintage.

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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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