Sunday, July 9, 2023

Flora Springs Trilogy Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

 Flora Springs Trilogy Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend 2005 with grilled beefsteak

For Sunday night dinner at home with grilled steaks, baked potatoes and grilled asparagus spears I pulled from the cellar this Bordeaux Blend from Napa Valley. We have collected and served Trilogy from Floral Springs for decades and still hold nearly a dozen vintages dating back to 1990 in our cellar.

This is a Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend that has been around for decades. Its one of the go-to wines in our cellar, one that we collect from vintage to vintage, as it represents a style we like, is reliable, produced in sufficient quantity to be generally available and provides reasonable QPR - quality price ratio, despite the fact the price has crept up precipitously over the years.

I chronicled this wine in detail back in 2020 when I wrote the following: Trilogy is Flora Springs’ flagship wine, dating back to 1984 when they decided to make the finest wine possible sourced from the highest quality wine lots from their estate vineyards in Napa Valley. Back then it was one of Napa Valley’s first proprietary red blends. 

It has long provided sophisticated drinking at good value. Indeed, the name Trilogy refers to the three primary Bordeaux varietal grapes in the blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc although they also grow and sometimes include in the blend the other Bordeaux varietals, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In line with that theme, four different generations of the branding and label imagery going back to the 1980's have all adorned the three grape varietals' leaf shapes in the label artwork.

To this day, this Bordeaux-style wine continues to be sourced from the Floral Springs Komes-Garvey estate vineyards. The Komes and Garvey’s have always been farmers first, and over the years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyard. With estate properties stretching from the cool, rolling hills of Carneros to the famed sub-appellations of Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena, Flora Springs produces varietal wines ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the other red Bordeaux varietals.

Each year the family selects a small percentage of the yield for their own wines, selling the remaining fruit to neighboring Napa Valley wineries. This selection puts the focus on quality, not quantity, resulting in hand-crafted wines that meet the family’s exacting standards.

Flora Springs was founded by the children of Jerry and Flora Komes. Jerry and Flora were married back in 1935 in San Francisco but moved throughout California and Texas over the years as Jerry pursued an engineering career with the giant San Francisco engineering firm Bechtel. The couple had three children, Mike, John and Julie, and eventually settled back in San Francisco when Jerry settled in a corporate job in international relations at Bechtel HQ in the Bay Area.

When Jerry retired in 1976, he and Flora began looking for a place to retire in Napa Valley. They came upon a property at the end of West Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena, and Flora saw magic hidden behind the decades of neglect, overgrown ivy, and the shifting rock walls of the old ghost winery.

“There are so many wonderful things about Napa Valley and St. Helena. I just fell in love with that property and that was it.” Jerry and Flora purchased the estate believing it to be the perfect place to grow grapes and become farmers. But when their son, John, proposed that the old winery building on the property be revived, Flora Springs became a new career for Flora, Jerry and their children.

They had the wisdom and prescience to craft a Bordeaux style blend from Napa Valley sourced Bordeaux varietals in the early days as Cabernet was becoming the king of Napa Valley. 

We've collected this wine since those early days and still hold nearly a dozen vintages including bottles dating back to our kids' birthyears in 1990-91. We served those vintages at their wedding rehearsal and celebration dinner party back in 2020.

Perhaps whimsically, I latched on to this as a regular favorite partly due to the namesake that wife Linda is a descendant of the Flora family, founders of her hometown Flora, in Indiana, no relation of course to the California Napa Flora (first name) Kombs, but fun and a tribute none-the-less.

To this day, Trilogy is a mainstay go to label in our cellar offering quality sophisticated drinking at reasonable value relative to the premium Napa and Bordeaux Blends. Hence, to fulfill the urge for a Bordeaux with our steak on this evening, we opened this nearly two decade old Trilogy.

Flora Springs Trilogy Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

Perfect complement to grilled steak.  

At eighteen years, the fill level, foil, label, and importantly, the cork, as shown, were in ideal condition. This is still holding its own with life left although likely at the end of the apex of its drinking window and won't improve with further aging. 

This was the 30th anniversary wine of producer Flora Springs, their flagship Trilogy is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec. It was aged for 22 months in 100% new French Oak.

This release was sourced from Flora Springs estate vineyards on the bench of the Mayacamas in the farthest northwest corner of the Rutherford appellation.

Winemaker Notes - "In 1984, we set out to make the best wine possible by hand-selecting the highest quality lots from our estate vineyards. Using a blend of three Bordeaux varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot - we created Trilogy, one of the original Meritage wines.'

"Flora Springs has built its legacy on beautiful and complex wines that can be enjoyed either as young and vibrant or as cellared and graceful. The 2005 Trilogy may be our boldest statement yet. It exhibits all the classic Trilogy attributes with a lovely cassis and cherry bouquet as well as huge black fruit flavors that envelope the palate. Each varietal is vital to the outcome - the Cabernet exhibits black cherry and dark cocoa character, while the Merlot carries these flavors to the back of the palate where the Cabernet Franc adds notes of coffee and toffee to the finish. Unrelenting with power and grace, the 2005 Trilogy is the perfect wine to mark Flora Springs' 30th anniversary year."

This release was awarded 95 points and Editors' Choice by Wine Enthusiast and 93 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

Dark garnet colored with a some purple and very slight amount of rust hue starting to set in, full-bodied, dry, rich, complex, nicely balanced integrated flavors dark berries and currants, with notes of dark cocoa, graphite, leather, tobacco leaf, cedar and spice with lingering firm but refined tannins.

RM 91 points.