Flora Springs Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017
This 2017 Sauvignon Blanc offers appealing flavors of fig, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fresh apricot along with soft notes of honeysuckle, graham cracker and spice. The wine has a rich, expansive mouthfeel, yet it’s bright on the palate with plenty of crisp acidity. A subtle hint of minerality in the back palate – attributable to the portion of wine aged in concrete tanks – adds interest. Beautifully textured with a pleasant creaminess, the wine has a long, smooth spicy finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Flora is a first release from 13-year-old Quin O'Keefe, son of Samantha O'Keefe at Lismore. (Presumably he doesn't get to drink his own wine.) Fermented in plastic eggs and blended with a wooded component, it's pithy, bright and appealing, all greengage and grapefruit flavours. 2019-21
There are rich and outgoing Sauvignon Blancs, and there are those that compel thoughtful sipping, and occasionally one such as this comes along that manages to be both. It is, on the one hand, a juicy, deeply fruity, immediately appealing wine, but it gradually reveals a bit of layering with elements of ripe figs, lemon curd, minerals, fresh herbs and subtle notes of sweet oak merging in a nicely joined mix, and it exhibits exemplary balance and fine palatal length. It is, withal, a complete and satisfying opus with the ability to keep for a number of years, but there is nothing about it that dissuades pouring with a bowl of garlicky steamed mussels tonight.
It all began over 20 years ago, when Jerry and Flora Komes bought the first vineyard - a vineyard with lots of history, great soils and two ghost wineries. Their retirement project became a lifetime passion for son John Komes and daughter Julie Garvey and their families. John quickly talked the family (including another brother Mike Komes) into making wine. Julie worked side by side with John as the first two years they made the wines. Julie’s husband Pat Garvey took over the vineyard side of things. In 1980, Ken Deis was hired as winemaker and he has been part of the family ever since.
Winemaker Ken Deis makes use of every tool at his disposal. First of all, he trusts his senses: The feel of the berry in his fingers, the taste of the fruit and then the wine, the smells during fermentation. A winemaker needs to understand the source of his fruit and Ken has worked closely with vineyard manager Pat Garvey for more than 20 years so that they can anticipate the challenges that each vintage brings. Ken has also adopted the same curiosity that the entire Komes-Garvey family has and it has paid off royally in the quality of his wines.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.