“When we started making Cabernet Sauvignon in the late 70s, Napa Valley winemakers followed the Bordeaux model,” says Flora Springs Proprietor John Komes. “The general consensus was that high quality Cabs should be built to age for a long period of time. In practical terms this meant that upon release, many Cabernets were simply too big, too tannic and too overpowering to drink; they needed time in the bottle to mellow out. So in 1984 we decided to try something different, blending three grape varieties together – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – and using winemaking techniques that purposefully tamed those powerful tannins.
The result was Trilogy, a wine for people to enjoy while they waited for the rest of their Cabernet Sauvignons to age!
Winemaking in Napa Valley has come a long way since then; we’ve learned to make Cabernet Sauvignons that are lovely upon release but also built to age. I’m proud that Trilogy was part of this winemaking evolution.”
Always a selection of the highest quality wine lots from Flora Springs estate vineyards in Napa Valley, the 2016 Trilogy features a heavy dose of Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec grown in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville.
“Love the land and it will love you back,” says Flora Komes.
As early environmental stewards, Flora Springs embraces sustainable and organic farming; they installed a solar array to generate energy for the winery and vineyards and other mportant practices include:
- Building healthy soil: “Sustainable and organic farming focuses on building healthy soils rich in beneficial microorganisms and organic matter,” says Flora Springs. “Through the use of composts and cover crops (planted in between the vines) we improve the health of our soils and vines and reduce erosion.”
- Controlling vineyard pests naturally: “Blue bird and owl nesting boxes as well as raptor perches to control insects and rodents, and mechanically tilling our soils instead of spraying.”
- Conserving water and biodiversity: Biodiversity is “encouraging healthy flora and improving habitat along the edges of our vineyards.”
- Making quality job #1: These methods require “care for our vineyards with a focused and ever-watchful eye. The result, if we do our job correctly, is that our vineyards become stronger, and better able to grow better, more concentrated grapes.”
This Saturday February 2, 2019, celebrate the release of the 2016 Trilogy at a Flora Springs Winery event designed to express the essence of the vintage through “an assortment of experiences to please the palate and awaken the senses and have the most fun wine country has to offer.”
Dance to a live band and taste the new vintage as well as select library wines and Sauvignon Blanc while enjoying expansive views of the vineyards and culinary delights from some of Napa Valley’s finest restaurateurs including Morimoto and Gerard’s Paella who will create special dishes for the occasion.
2016 Trilogy Release Party Tickets are $225 for General Admission and $180 for Wine Club Members.
Can’t attend? Check out the hashtags #trilogywine and #trilogyparty — and keep reading for our thoughts about the new vintage!
The other night, Sue and I tasted the new release of Flora Springs Trilogy and found it to be very accessible, satisfying and balanced with lots of cherry fruit.
Just because you have a Napa cab based blend doesn’t mean you have to go with a big steak — although that would be good too.
Instead, we did a hearty beet salad with smoked ham, blue cheese, and garam masala spiced nuts; butternut squash soup; and a twice baked potato with blue cheese and more smoked ham. We also tried it with creamy polenta and braised beef. This is a great Napa cab blend for vegetarians and vegans because it doesn’t require a major meat dish to tame the tannins.
2016 – Trilogy – Red Wine – Napa Valley – 14.5% alcohol
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec
Aged in for 20 months in 87% French oak and 13% American oak
Sample for my review consideration
Ideal Growing Conditions, according to the winery,: “An early bud break followed by warm weather and spring rains brought a rapid start to an ideal 2016 growing season, one 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.”
Color: Super dense garnet with a purplish ring.
Nose: Cherry first and foremost with plum following, herbal notes of sage and anise, minerals of silty dirt; the nose is inviting and engaging.
Palate: My first thought of the 2016 vintage is that it is plush and enjoyable right away, which isn’t always the case with a new release of a Napa wine built on cab. While you could lay this wine down for awhile, it is tempting now and it is impressive for any celebration to drink when that occasion arrives. Balanced with fruit on the front of the palate and lingering minerals on the back. A nice roundness throughout the palate with sage and black licorice adding complexity.
Pairing: The Trilogy loved the blue cheese and the garam masala on our roast nuts on the cheese plate and on the salad. Super great with the salami and paired well with the smoked ham. This would be a wonderful wine for any family occasion with ham or prime rib; for a smaller gathering, consider rack of lamb, braised lamb shanks or osso bucco with creamy polenta.
Read more about Flora Springs history as a ghost winery and more about their history and some of their other wines.
The pairing sounds amazing. We love cabs and are always looking for one to pair with vegetarian dishes or at least lighter fare. Bon Appetit!
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You’ll love this one then!