Back in 2007, when I was a full-time wine journalist, I spent a couple of days during harvest hanging around Flora Springs, a family-owned winery in Napa Valley. Sean Garvey, 3rd generation and a babe in the woods at the time, hosted me and expounded on the beauty and depth of Napa Valley Merlot. So warm and welcoming, the Garvey and Kome families still hold a place in my treasured wine memories. They likely don’t know this, but, even after almost 10 years, I still recommend their wine and winery to Napa visitors. Because they’re awesome people with solid wines.
Weathering the Sideways fallout and subsequent climb back into prominence, the family thankfully never gave up on Merlot as a single-varietal wine. The 2014 Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot shows the original oomph, bright fruit and balance that I remember so fondly. Loaded with blueberry, black cherry and juicy raspberry, the vanilla-tinged, silky tannins and strong-brewed tea turn this bottle into a sexy number. It offers a lingering, jammy finish and plenty to look forward to in the next sip. The family’s continued fondness for Merlot and its delicious possibilities comes through loud and clear. Well done.
Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot, 2014
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Price: $18 – $30
Occasion: Blind tasted. Sample sent from winery.
Availability: 6,000 cases produced. High-end wine shops and big box stores nationwide.
Food Pairings: Grilled meats with a spicy rub, Slow Cooker Pork Roast, or Black Bean Burgers