2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill


This is based on samples provided by the winery or an organization acting on their behalf.




These wines were provided to me to sample and enjoy for #ChardonnayDay on May 25th.



Over the years Flora Springs was always one of our stops when we visited Napa Valley.  We took the two pictures below of the stained glass and wall murals during a visit in late August 2001, a couple weeks before 9/11.  When I was offered a couple samples from them, I was excited to reacquaint myself with these wines.




About the winery:

Flora Springs, located in the Northwest corner of the Rutherford appellation at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, was founded in 1978.  The stone cellar of Flora Springs is a once abandoned “ghost winery”.  It was Flora Komes who along with her husband Jerry that found the area while looking for a place to “kick off their boots”.  Flora was the one who saw the possibilities hidden behind decades of neglect, over-grown ivy, and shifting rock walls.  The property’s winemaking roots go back to the 19th century but if was the work of Flora and Jerry’s children, John Komes and his wife Carrie, and Julie Garvey and her husband Pat Garvey, that have etched the legacy of Flora Springs.


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 their solar-powered 19th-century stone winery and caves.


Much more about the winery, the family and the wines is available on their website by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out their “Working with Nature” and “Farming Responsibly” sections to read about their dedication to sustainability.




These bottles were supplied by the winery and Mora Cronin of Cronin Communications.

Cronin Communications is a marketing communications and public relations agency based in St. Helena, California.  Specializing in the wine industry, the firm provides services including strategic positioning and brand messaging, copy writing and media relations.  For more information, contact moracronin@comcast.net.




The wines for this tasting:




2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select – SRP $35

This wine comes from three sustainably farmed vineyards in Oakville, Oak Knoll District and Carneros.  The grapes were fermented in a combination of oak barrels (76%) and stainless steel tanks (24%).  The lees were stirred bi-weekly and the 20% went through malolactic fermentation.  After fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak for seven months.


The wine is a light golden yellow color.  The inviting nose has apples, pineapple, melon, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, lemon zest, flinty minerals and a hint of almond.  This has medium to full body with a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate apples, melon, spices and pineapple quickly grab your attention with vanilla bean, minerals and lemon zest coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with a hint of almond joining the rich fruit and tart lemon zest.  This has a nice creamy texture from 20% malolactic fermentation but retains the crisp acidity to provide nice balance.  This is very easy to drink and would be a great companion for a nice dinner on the deck or patio this Summer.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork and a hard plastic like disk.  (92 pts)

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select

2016 Flora Springs Chardonnay Family Select




2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill – SRP $50

Flora Springs’ Lavender Hill Vineyard is a seven acre vineyard in southern Carneros, one of the coolest sites in the Napa Valley.  70% of the juice was fermented in small French oak barrels to allow the oak to better integrate with the wine.  The remaining 30% was fermented and aged in concrete vessels.  The concrete does not leave behind any discernable flavor but the small microscopic pockets hold oxygen which help preserve aromatics and broaden the mouthfeel.  During the eight month aging process, the wine was stirred every two weeks to suspend the lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity.  The wine also went through partial malolactic fermentation to balance the bright fruit and give it a rich and supple palate.


The wine is a bright straw yellow color.  The bright and inviting nose has apples, pears, orange blossoms, baking spices, vanilla bean and a touch of honey.  This has a full body with a creamy texture and very good acidity.  On the palate tart apples and pears combine with orange blossoms on the front end with baking spices and a touch of minerals coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla and mouth watering lemon zest providing great depth and forcing you to reach for another sip.  This is a very food friendly wine that has great balance.  This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork topped with a hard disc.  (93 pts)

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill

2015 Jon Nathaniel Wines Chardonnay Lavender Hill





Both of these wines would be a welcome addition to your dinner table.  They have nice up front fruit and good closing acidity to be a good accompaniment to a wide range of dishes.




I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.


If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.


Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.




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You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.