2015 Napa Valley Merlot

2015 Napa Valley Merlot


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Our Napa Valley Merlot is a perennial favorite at the winery; in fact, it was known to be Flora Komes’ "go to" wine as she loved its bright fruit flavors and smooth, supple texture. The 2015 vintage falls in line with this profile, its continuity drawing from our sustainably-farmed estate vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville. Opening with vibrant aromas of Bing cherry, pomegranate seed and fresh raspberry, the striking nose of this 100% Merlot also offers hints of espresso bean, cocoa and fresh mint. The palate is bold and sumptuous, centered on the same red fruit flavors and surrounded by notes of cedar, orange pekoe tea and baking spice. This is a readily approachable wine, with soft, harmonious tannins, a touch of well-integrated toasty vanillin oak, and a finish that is warm and lush.

All the Facts

Appellation:Napa Valley
Varietal:100% Merlot
Cases Produced:4500
Aging:19 months in small oak barrels; mixture of new and seasoned.
Enjoyability:Drink now through 2021 for optimum enjoyment.

On the Vine

The 2015 vintage in Napa Valley will be remembered for high quality but low yields. The growing season began with warm temperatures in late winter and early spring resulting in an early bud break. In May, colder temperatures during bloom caused fruit set to be uneven, yielding a much smaller crop compared to earlier vintages. Winemakers and vineyard managers worked closely together as the season progressed to ensure grapes ripened uniformly. The harvest, which was in full swing by mid-August, was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, and most vintners completed picking by mid-October. Although the continuing drought was a concern around California, Napa Valley received 75% of its annual rainfall average in 2015 making it less worrisome for Napa vintners.

Dunne on Wine: A California wine for everyone on your gift list
The Sacramento Bee
For every grape variety it handles, from cabernet sauvignon through malbec, Flora Springs Winery is one of the more consistently reliable producers in Napa Valley. It just never disappoints, and each year at least one of its wines ends up on my list of favorites. This year it is the Flora Springs Winery 2015 Napa Valley Merlot ($30), which all on its own could revive merlot as a staple of the American table for its vivacious fruit, startling complexity and refreshing buoyancy. There are suggestions of plums, cherries and raspberries in aroma and flavor, to be sure, but more intriguing is its thread of green olives." Read more.
—Mike Dunne, December, 2018

"Napa Valley sets the benchmark for Cabernet and Merlot in California, but the rising cost of grapes and land can translate to hefty price tags for the region's top wines. This selection of reds...delivers character and depth at reasonable prices... 

This Merlot offers a suave core of well-spiced cherry compote and plum tart flavors. Smoky hints show on the finish. Drink now." Read more.
—Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, November 2018

"Chalky tannins wrap around sizable oak, sage, tobacco and cedar in this full-bodied 100% varietal wine. An herbaceous component dominates on the back of the palate."
Wine Enthusiast, November 2018
A Month to Celebrate Merlot
Dallas Wine Chick
"Flora Springs was founded in 1978, but the grapes were first planted on the property in the late 1800s. In 1976, Jerry and Flora began looking for a place for to retire in Napa Valley. “It was a time in our life to change and have another interest,” said Flora. When they came upon the property at the end of West Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena, it was Flora who saw the magic hidden behind the decades of neglect, overgrown ivy, and the shifting rock walls of the old ghost winery. It didn’t start out to be a winery, but when their son, John, proposed the ghost winery be resurrected, the family business was born.

The Merlot that I tried was known to be Flora’s favorite wine. This wine had notes of ripe cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, mocha, eucalyptus, tea and spice." Read more.
—Melanie Ofenloch, October 2018 
"The fifth in a string of well-made Merlots dating back to the 2011 vintage, Flora Springs’s latest appellation bottling begins with well-defined varietal aromas wherein abundant black cherry fruit is overlain by slightly sweet notes of dusty earth and the lightest suggestions of dried herbs, and its ample, yet never heavy flavors follow without missing a beat. The wine is moderately full and fit with enough tannin to make a good case for a few additional years of age, but it is far from rough and rugged and will serve in a pinch now with the likes of a juicy, rare rib-eye steak hot off the grill."
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, October 2018

92 Points
Blue Lifestyle
"Deep ruby color; tangy and balanced with fine structure and balance; if you were down on Merlot, this one could change your mind."
—Anthony Dias Blue, July 2018
Featured Wine- Interesting wines for summer get-togethers
The Tennessean
"2015 Flora Springs Napa Valley Merlot. Choice Napa grapes; soft, rich finish."
—Steve Prati, June 13, 2018
"...This wine is 100% merlot from the Napa Valley. Following fermentation, the wine was aged for 19 months in a combination of new and used oak barrels...

The wine showed a dark ruby color. Blackberry, cassis, mocha, vanilla, plum and oak all arrived on the deep and alluring nose. Blackberry, black cherry, cassis, vanilla, plum and oak followed on the palate. The wine exhibited great structure and length, along with soft tannins. This wine would pair well with a grilled hanger steak..." Read more.
—Michael Chelus, The Nittany Epicurean, June 9, 2018
Drink up! This pair is delicious
Julia the Wine Examiner
"Flora Springs has created a 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that celebrate winemaking skills and define elegance. Your time swirling and sipping these incredible selections is long past due." Read more. May 3, 2018
Flora Springs' Classy 2015 Reds
Steve's Wine Cellar
"Flora Springs fruit comes from their prime, organic vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford, and Oakville. Flora Springs‘ latest release is the 2015 vintage–and what a vintage...

Flora Springs 2015 Merlot begins with aromas of raspberry and cocoa before laying down rich red fruit and smooth tannins on the palate." Read more. May 1, 2018
90 points
San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge, April 2018