Flora Springs 2005 Trilogy from Napa Valley is our wine pick of the day. I had an opportunity to sample half a dozen Flora Springs wines at a dinner hosted by the third-generation, family-owned winery at Wilshire, one of my favorite Santa Monica restaurants, back in March.
The 2005 Trilogy is a Meritage blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals, 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec mainly from the Komes Ranch estate vineyards surrounding the winery. The wine spent 22 months in new French oak barrels, and it’s wonderfully rich, full-bodied and balanced.
The best wine of the night was actually the 1996 Trilogy, but that one is a lot harder and more expensive to get your hands on at this point. The ’05 Trilogy retails for $65, but I found it online here for as little as $39.99.
The family behind Flora Springs owns 650 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley, a total of 10 vineyards in five appellations: Rutherford, St. Helena, Oakville and Carneros. All the vineyards are sustainable, and 20% are certified organic, with another 240 acres to be certified this year. A full 90% of the grapes used in the Flora Springs red wines are from organic vineyards. That means no spraying of harmful chemicals. Instead, they use natural methods such as cover crops, hawks and owls to control problems such as pests.
A quick summary of our dinner to whet your palate: We started with a delicate hamachi seasoned with ponzu and wasabi, which was paired with Flora Springs 2007 Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc. That was followed by ricotta gnocchi with hedgehog mushrooms, cippolini onions and chestnuts, which we enjoyed with the 2007 barrel fermented Chardonnay. For our third course, we savored a rich and delicious moroccan spiced lamb stew with fregola sarda (a healthy pasta from Sardinia), cauliflower, piquillo pepper harissa (a hot sauce) and banana raita (a cool, yogurt-based sauce). This dish was accompanied by the 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. And finally, we sipped the ’96, ’99 and ’06 Trilogy wines with some artisanal cheeses before capping off the evening with a dessert of pain perdu with meyer lemon, huckleberries, port reduction and vanilla ice cream. Yum. — Jenny