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2016 Napa Valley Cabernet

2016 Napa Valley Cabernet

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Our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon combines fruit from Flora Springs’ sustainably-farmed estate vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville. The hand harvested grapes were cold-soaked for several days to extract flavor and color prior to fermentation. Several lots underwent extended maceration to refine and soften the tannins, and all lots were aged in a combination of French (79%) and American (21%) oak barrels for 19 months prior to blending. This is a rich and satisfying Cabernet with warm flavors of blackberry compote, cassis, vanilla crème and mocha. A hint of wild chaparral is noticeable after several sips along with notes of sweet oak and espresso. The warm tones and juicy tannins give an overall impression of softness, but the wine is backed with a refreshing acidity that promises aging well into the next decade. This Cabernet would make a wonderful companion for rare-cooked meats, classic cheese fondue, rosemary-braised lamb shanks, or beef carpaccio with wild arugula. 

All the Facts

Appellation:Napa Valley
Varietal:100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cases Produced:4,500
Aging:19 months in French (79%) and American (21%) oak barrels
Price:$50
Enjoyability:Drink now through 2028

On the Vine

An early bud break followed by warm weather and spring rains brought a rapid start to the 2016 growing season, a near perfect year with beautiful weather from bloom, to berry set, to veraison and harvest in our Napa Valley estate vineyards. Our winemaker and vineyard managers – Paul Steinauer and Pat and Sean Garvey - worked closely together as the season progressed to ensure grapes ripened uniformly, adjusting vine canopies, thinning fruit and keeping a close eye on soil moisture. The harvest began in mid-August and wrapped up by mid-October, just ahead of the valley’s first significant fall rainstorm.

TOP PICK: 2016 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon
Houston Chronicle
"The Chronicle’s tasting panel, made up of industry professionals, educators and knowledgeable consumers, convenes on a regular basis to blind taste through at least 30 wines, scoring them on a 10-point scale with 8.5 or higher considered a recommendation. I further grade them on value and determine their availability...

Overall score: 18.5 (9 for quality, 9.5 for value)

Our tasters: Gave it a unanimous recommendation, with five scores of at least 9: "Herbal, oaky and rich with bright cherries on the finish."

My score: 9.1. This routinely satisfying, well-priced wine has long been a personal favorite when I’ve got a hankering for California cabernet and don’t want to blow my wine budget.

Winery: In the 1880s, Scottish immigrants James and William Rennie planted 60 acres of grapes and by 1900 had constructed a stone cellar at the end of Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena. But the gasoline-powered press and all the barrels were soon destroyed by a massive fire. Prohibition followed by the Great Depression ruined subsequent owners. In 1977, Jerry and Flora Komes bought what had become a “ghost winery” from Louis Martini. Their son John took it from there, founding Flora Springs a year later. Today the family’s holdings cover 600 sustainably farmed acres in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville.

Vineyards/winemaking: Winemaker Paul Steiner made this cab from hand-harvested grapes — merlot, malbec and petit verdot are also in the blend — grown in all three areas. Several days of cold-soaking extracted flavors and color prior to fermentation. Several lots underwent extended maceration to refine and soften the tannins. All lots were aged in a combination of French (79 percent) and American oak barrels for 19 months prior to blending.

Winemaker notes: "Warm flavors of blackberry compote, cassis, vanilla crème and mocha. A hint of wild chaparral is noticeable after several sips along with notes of sweet oak and espresso. The warm tones and juicy tannins give an overall impression of softness, but the wine is backed with a refreshing acidity that promises aging well into the next decade."

Critical acclaim: James Suckling awarded a score of 93.

Pairings: Rare-cooked meats, cheese fondue, rosemary-braised lamb shanks, beef carpaccio with wild arugula."

—Dale Robertson, September 2019
Cabernets That Are Ready To Drink Now
South Florida Reporter
"We often hear the complaint that expensive cabernet sauvignons are too tannic to drink. We’ve assembled a short list of a few cabernet sauvignons that are especially drinkable without further aging. These wines have a fruit-forward character that makes them delicious yet they have enough body to make them a good match to beef and even short-term aging...

...2016 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Interesting eucalyptus and mint in the nose with Blackberry and tea elements in the mouth. A very complete wine with a long length."
 Read more. —MoreAboutWine.com, September 2019

90 points
8 Must-Try Napa Wines at 90+ Points
Wine Spectator
"A broad, creamy, hedonistic style, with a mocha note draped over pureed plum, açaí and blueberry flavors, ending with flashes of espresso and additional mocha nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2027." Read more.
—James Molesworth, August 2019
94 points
Creators Syndicate
"Ultra-smooth is how I would describe this latest Napa Valley cab from Flora Springs. Richly layered with impressive depth and complexity, it exhibits ripe black fruits, hints of mocha and woodspice, and ripe, supple tannins. It's beautifully balanced with exceptional length on the finish." Read more.
—Robert Whitley, May 2019

"...medium ruby in the glass with red and dark fruit aromas. Flavors of blackberries, plums, dusty earth, leafy tobacco and cedar are supported with grippy tannins that are well integrated with the flavors. The body is medium as is the length of the finish.

I appreciate the play of berry and plum flavors with hints of leafy tobacco...Pair this wine with anything from roast pork to a grilled rib eye...

If it is important to you to support family-owned wineries then Flora Springs is a winery to consider. Wines from Flora Springs are widely available if you can’t make it to Napa Valley for a visit." Read more.
—Pull That Cork, April 2019
Wine time: Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley
The Augusta Chronicle
"One of the great benefits of writing about wine is I get to try many different wines. In fact, I feel obligated to search out wines I haven’t had before. 

But it also is nice to go back to the tried-and-true wines I know will be good. Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon fits nicely into that category. The winery is among the dozen or so that I can count on to produce wine in a style I like no matter what the grape.

We had the 2016 vintage cab with a weeknight dinner, and it turned into a spectacular evening. Then we pulled the 2014 vintage out of the cellar to see how it compared on another night, and it was at least as good or better.

The 2016 was slow to open, but when it did warm up, inviting aromas of dark fruit poured out of the glass. It is a rich, full wine, deep garnet, almost purple. With each sip I picked up different tastes, all very satisfying.

Blackberry predominated, with some cassis, vanilla bean and a hint of mocha. The wine is smooth, and you might think soft, but there is a good backbone, full of fresh acidity and relaxed tannins..." Read more.
Dennis Sodomka, February 2019