When “Barrel Fermented” Meant Something!

Flora Springs didn’t invent barrel fermentation, but they “coined” the marketing of the process with the release of the first vintage of Barrel Fermented Chardonnay in 1980. When Napa Valley was far better known for Chardonnay than for Cabernet Sauvignon, Flora Springs became known for its rich, opulent and textured Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – one of the greats of the region. It was the mid 1990’s when it all came to a head as their bottle graced the Wine Spectator cover, lying in the sand with a woman in a bathing suit. Oh, how controversial that was!

It was then that the industry really began to take notice and many producers followed with the naming of many Chardonnays with some form of “Barrel Something. ” Flora Springs took pride then and they take pride now in offering you one of Napa Valley’s classics.

Over 35 years have passed since Jerry and Flora Komes first stepped onto the soils of  the historic Flora Springs estate looking for a place to "kick off their boots." It's hard to imagine today that the beautiful stone cellar of Flora Springs was once an abandoned "ghost" winery. It was Flora who saw the potential lying behind decades of neglect, over-grown ivy, and shifting rock walls. It has been the work of Jerry and Flora's children,John Komes and his wife Carrie, and Julie Garvey and her husband Pat Garvey, to preserve the history.
Founded in 1978, Flora Springs has been a family affair for over three decades. As both artisan winemakers and growers, the family is committed to the traditions of fine winemaking and responsible stewardship of its 650 acres of vineyard land for future generations to savor and uphold. Today, ninety percent of Flora Springs' red wines are sourced from its organically-farmed estate vineyards, and all of these wines are crafted in our solar-powered 19th-century stone winery and caves.

Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
The 2013 vintage yielded what the Flora Spings winemaker calls a “perfectly balanced Burgundian style of Chardonnay,” exhibiting  expressive fruit including juicy pear, honeydew melon and fresh white peach alongside notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric. This year’s vintage evokes the summer with sun-ripened white peaches, lemon, orange, and key lime pie most prevalent in the nose.

The oak is subtle, providing warm notes of buttered toast and a lingering marzipan and vanilla crème finish.

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Sauvignon Blanc “Oakville”
The aromatic 2013 vintage exhibits star-fruit, kiwi, candied lemon peel and lime zest with underlying hints of rosewater and ginger root. The palate is bright and fresh, with a gentle minerality and tangy citrus notes, lemongrass and a whiff of wet stone. This is a medium-bodied wine with the elegance and finesse to stand on its own.

Napa Valley Merlot
The 2012 is bursting with big black cherry, juniper berry and black licorice flavors, easing into notes of cardamom, cinnamon, and gentle vanilla creme. There’s an intriguing granite minerality to the wine along with a toasty, sweet oak profile in the finish.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The grapes for our 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were grown in some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious appellations, including the mid-valley regions of Rutherford and Oakville.
 This is a bold, rich Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautiful core of dark, brambly fruit -- black cherry, and black raspberry -- framed by spicy notes of black pepper, clove, and cinnamon Lush and full-bodied, the wine shows off sweet oak notes and a vanillin-tinged finish that is smooth and silky.