Sip on a red wine and taste voluptuous, jammy fruits, a delicate acidity and just a backbone of tannin, and you may think at least three different varietals and I bet none of them would be a Napa Cabernet. Indeed, I had my partner in wine crime taste this blind and his brain went from Zinfandel, to Shiraz, and then settled on a rusty “Pinot Noir,” before saying that whatever it is, it’s definitely not a Cab. Oh how wrong you’d be and how wrong he was. I’m loving the innovation of the new generation of Napa winemakers—even those who have been in the business for years are evolving into this notion of “fresh fruit ripeness,” picking slightly earlier, using minimal intervention winemaking techniques, and ultimately crafting Napa Cabernet that can age elegantly for decades…but are completely gluggable now.
Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc is a classic, am I right? And when you’re craving it, there’s just nothing else like it. Distinct in both flavor profile and texture due to the use of both the blanc and musqué clones, the winemaking team also utilizes just a small percentage of oak in their aging program to help lift the flavor and mouthfeel.
Now here’s a red wine you can sink your teeth into—without staining them red or purple. If in the mood for something with some grit and texture, something with an “I don’t give and eff” attitude, then this is the wine for you. It’s bold, bodacious, with serious backbone, yet absolutely 100% casual. Call the blend a “kitchen sink” blend if you will, but know that it’s crafted with finesse and not a drop of it will go down the gutter. Bonus points for the low price point and the fact that you can pair it with your finest steak just as well as you could a sandwich.
I love pretty much everything from Flora Springs. You can click on that link and see all the rave reviews I’ve done on their wines — from hearty red blends indicative to Napa Valley to an enjoyably (and surprisingly) minimalistic Sauvignon Blanc. But, for me Chardonnay from Napa is a hard sell — I find many winemakers in the area, for whatever reason, seem to overwork the grape with either too much new oak influence or too much ML, or in some cases both.
While I enjoyed this Flora Springs Chardonnay (especially with the appropriate cheese!) I do have somewhat of a mixed review…
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.