Our recent coverage notwithstanding, summertime doesn’t mean you can only drink whites and reds. Sometimes, a feast is in order, and with it, a bold red wine, like one of these two offerings from Flora Springs, both from the 2015 vintage.
And hey, because it is summer, let’s look at two whites as well.
All wines are from the mid-range Napa Valley collection.
2017 Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – A bit muddy for sauvignon blanc, those classically grassy and steely elements here instead come across with an earthiness, including a surprising element of spice and vanilla, though the more classic tropical notes (mango and guava) emerge late in the game. B- / $20
2017 Flora Springs Chardonnay Napa Valley – Better balance than the sauvignon blanc, but classic in its California stylings, featuring lots of butter, vanilla, and baking spice masking some otherwise simple mixed apple and lemon fruit character. Uncomplicated, with more of a toasty brown butter character developing as the finish arrives. Perfectly approachable, but not game-changing. B / $30
2015 Flora Springs Merlot Napa Valley – Soft, with currants, graphite, and licorice notes, it’s almost cabernet-lite. That’s not a slam, as this wine pairs well with food (blue cheese was a great match), but it’s unfortunately short on complexity, with notes of blueberry and plum emerging as the finish evolves, leading to a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, moderately fruity conclusion. Versatile, if nothing else. B+ / $30
2015 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Classically styled cabernet, though this bottling avoids the overbearing tannins of many a Napa release. Perhaps its the 75% French oak that softens up the experience, impregnating it with vanilla, blueberries, and just a touch of spice. Some black pepper on the back end adds intrigue. Good stuff. A- / $50