Flora Springs Trilogy Napa Valley 2014


Sitting down to write this episode of “Wine-Sum-More” I find myself in an unusual position. For some time I’ve been seeing those gargantuan wine companies gobble up winery after winery. Wondering to myself “Which one of my favorites will be next?”

Lately though, I seem to be stumbling (not due to my age) across many more wineries that are, and have been, the lifeblood of various regions (we’re talking mostly California here). Wineries that were started in the heyday of wine production, or even earlier. More surprising to me, is that they are still either owned by the original family or bought by others who have continued a family tradition of ownership. I feel a new dinner composed of “my words” coming soon! (If you need help on that one, it’s just “eating my own words”).

The winery that sparked my revelation this time: Flora Springs.

From their retirement in the mid-1970s and settling in St. Helena, Jerry & Flora Komes were the impetus of what was to be the winery named Flora Springs. Started by their children but with the love of the entire family, they have remained family owned for over 40 years.

Their flagship wine “Trilogy” to be my wine this particular evening. A Bordeaux style blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot and aged for 22 months in 85% French oak and 15% American oak with all the fruit coming from their estate. Opening to a lush bloom of aromas rising from the glass, pausing for a moment to allow the full experience of the wine. That first drop, or maybe a few, assailing my palate with a complexity that showed depth, dark fruit, and true Bordeauxesque quality. Lingering on the finish as I savored each second until the next sip.

So once again I now face a family owned winery that has been producing wines of quality and distinction for many years. For me, that’s a good thing. (No that wasn’t meant to be a plug using Martha’s tag line).


O'Shaughnessy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

oshaughnessy cab.jpg

No pomp and circumstance for the wine I choose for the 4th of July at my house this year. Although it does have an Irish Immigrant sounding name: O’Shaughnessy! Immigration having something to do with how our great country came to be. Being a bit of a hot topic right now, I’ll leave my comments at that and focus on the wine as it should be for a wine blogger.

Beginning in 1990 with the purchase of land in Oakville, Betty O’Shaughnessy with her husband Paul Woolls continued to expand to other areas of Howell Mountain and then to Mount Veeder in Napa Valley where their focus is on Cabernet Sauvignon blended with up to seven additional blending grapes: Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Carmenère, Saint Macaire and Gros Verdot. In 1999 they hired Sean Capiaux as winemaker, where he continues his work to this day. The wines are all small production and high quality.

My choice for this particular wine on this particular day had only to do with the fact that I had multiple bottles of the wine and wanted something big and rich (it was that and more) than what to go with my Baby Back Rips (what else do you serve on the 4th?) and my Horseradish Mashed Potatoes. I would usually put a picture in about now, but as I was using paper plates (easy cleanup), I decided against it.

Gorgeous aromas lifting from my glass; the first sip assailing my palate with deep dark fruit combined with a slight rustic element. The wine; rich, lush, and full-bodied from the moment it was opened. While their Mount Veeder and Howell Mountain Cabs may benefit from a good decant, this wine needed no such prodding. It was the perfect pick for a relaxing and laid back afternoon while enjoying great food and wine.