Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards

Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards is a family owned winery that has been producing fine wines for about thirty years.  They are very well known for their wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon blend, called Trilogy, and if you love Cabs you will surely want to visit. They have a tasting room on Highway 29 just South of St. Helena called “The Room” where you can arrange a tasting and tour.  You may visit The Room without an appointment if you have less than six people in your party. If you have six or more, please call for an appointment. The winery itself is in a different location and is called “The Estate” At “The Estate” they have estate tours, single vineyard tastings, reserve tastings, Trilogy library tastings and a blending seminar.  We have always visited "The Room" and have not been to "The Estate." Flora Springs offers anything from box lunches to red carpet dinners and hosting for corporate events.  Please check their web page out to see the many tasting and tour options they offer.

Entry to tasting building

Flora Springs "The Room" is certainly well worth a visit.  They are well known for their Trilogy wine, a cabernet blend which is consistently good from year to year.  They also have a unique, modern style building and tasting room that is located right on highway 29 next to Dean and Deluca. We were told that they are the third largest family owned winery in Napa Valley, with 650 planted acres.  These vineyards are in Rutherford, St. Helena, Oakville and Carneros and all are farmed using sustainable practices and most are certified organic. They use only 20% of their grapes themselves, however, and sell the other 80%.  You may have five tastings for $20 or five of their Italian varietals for the same price.  The reserve tasting is $35. Flora Springs also offers Italian varietals as an alternative tasting and cheese platters for $10 or $15. These prices were in effect at the time of our visit and might have changed so please contact them if you need current prices.

Tasting bar

Our tasting began with the Flora Springs 2010 “Soliloquy” Sauvignon Blanc at $20.  It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and 2800 cases were produced. It has mostly lemon on the very good nose, with mostly grapefruit and melon on the palate with a long finish.  It is quite good for the price and pleasant to drink.  The Flora Springs 2010 Chardonnay at $30. has had 21% malolactic conversion, just enough to give it a little butter and smoothness but not too much to overwhelm it.  It was aged for nine months in French oak with 50% of it on new oak. 1428 cases were produced. It had a nice nose with some pear, peach and buttered toast on the palate with good acid. We both liked it. The Flora Springs 2009 Napa Valley Merlot at $24 was next.  It saw 15 months in oak and 5,200 cases were produced.  It was a lighter style Merlot that is rather fruit forward with mostly red cherry. It was smooth and soft with a nice finish.  We found it to be pleasant but the least interesting of the red wines we tasted. The Flora Springs 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $40 followed. It saw 22 months in oak, with 40% of this being new oak. 4,200 cases were produced. It was a nice Cab with a good nose and lots of juicy ripe black cherry, toast and vanilla on the palate with a very long finish.  Very enjoyable and quite drinkable now although it should improve over the next few years. We also enjoyed the Flora Springs 2009 Cabernet Franc at $48. Only 540 cases were produced. I got a light but pleasant nose, smooth tannins and mostly cherry and blueberry on the palate.  We both liked it. The favorite, for both of us however, was the Flora Springs 2009 Trilogy at $65 which is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 5% Malbec.  It saw 21 months on 100% new French oak. 7,500 cases were produced. I got some black currant and a hint of cedar on the nose with bright red cherry, red currant and just enough toasty oak on the palate.  It was nicely balanced with well integrated tannins and had a very smooth finish.  This is still a young wine and is fresh and fruit forward now but should become more interesting and complex with age. It was our favorite of the wines we tasted.  Very nice.  Flora Springs had three other reserves, two at $85 and one at $100 but we did not try these. Given how good the Trilogy was, I suspect they are all excellent and would love to have tried them.

677 Saint Helena Highway South
Saint Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-8032
Date of visit: February 29, 2012 

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