Not Your Average Halloween Wine: Flora Springs 2017 All Hallows' Eve Cabernet Franc

Hello Friends,

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for the good folks at Flora Springs. Situated in St. Helena, Flora Springs is one of a few remaining ghost wineries in Napa Valley. But don’t get spooked! This doesn’t mean that you’ll cross paths with Jasper the Unfriendly Ghost (Casper’s black sheep brother) in the tasting room, or that the property is haunted. The term ‘Ghost Winery’ describes wine structures built between 1860 and 1900 that were abandoned and fell into disrepair in the early 20th century due to the triple threat of prohibition (1920-1933), phylloxera (a disease that kills the vine), and the Great Depression.

“Nat wished to evoke the mystery of the moonlit Ghost Winery on Hallows Eve (the day before All Saints Day, aka Halloween), with grapes in bins waiting for crush, curiously-lit windows on the 2nd floor, the iconic bridge to the winery’s entrance, and to top it off, a menacing rat possessed by the grapes in its grasp.” ~ Flora Springs

Every ending is a new beginning, and the story of Flora Springs began in the 1970s with Jerry and Flora Komes. The couple purchased the former Rennie Brothers Winery (est. circa 1885) after many decades of neglect and inactivity. For the past ten years, Flora Springs has paid homage to its ghostly history by producing Halloween-themed bottlings. The labels are fun and spooky, just the way Halloween d├ęcor should be. But the wine inside the bottle is deadly serious: all small-production, single-vineyard wines sourced from Flora Springs’ estate in Napa Valley. The All Hallows’ Eve Cabernet Franc, which I had an opportunity to sample, is to die for! The creepy label artwork, which totally rocks, is a collaboration shared between General Manager Nat Komes and digital comics pioneer Steve Ellis. It reminds me of some of the 80s heavy metal album covers I grew up with—and still listen to regularly! For further information and where you can find this ‘spook-tacular’ wine, please see my tasting notes below.

Here’s the rear label and Eddie. Up the Irons! 

Flora Springs 2017 All Hallows' Eve Cabernet Franc (SRP $60): This Cabernet Franc is sourced from a small block on the Rutherford side of Komes Ranch. It pours a deep ruby color with youthful purple undertones. On the nose, you’re greeted by inviting scents of purple stone fruit, allspice, and wilted roses. A rich, mouth-coating texture leads to fine grain tannins and lifted acidity supporting core flavors of black cherry, fresh blackberry, and ripe plum, with a touch of brown spice shining through on the pleasing, fruit-driven finish. This wine shows very good length and is drinking beautifully right now, but is also an excellent candidate for the cellar if you can wait. Approximately 330 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Rutherford, Napa Valley, California. Other info: ABV 14.2%, matured 21 months in French and American oak barrels, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.


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