Flora Springs Winery

Disclaimer: The Flora Springs Ghost Winery Malbec is a sample provided to us for review.

Founded in 1978, Flora Springs is a Napa winery. Its name references the mother of two of the founders and the natural springs on the property.

Earlier in 2020, the owners of Bordeaux’s Château Smith Haut Lafitte bought the original estate. The Flora Springs brand and 275 acres of Napa vineyards at other sites remain with the family.

Ghost Winery

The wine we review here is the “Ghost Winery Malbec”. Ghost Winery is an evocative description; not one that refers to hauntings, but to their Prohibition abandonment. Before 1920 and the Volstead act, there were some seven-hundred California wineries. When Prohibition ended in 1933, only forty or so survived. Some had sustained business through bootlegging. Others, such as Nichelini, provided communion wine for the Catholic Church.

The many now abandoned buildings dotted across California were the “Ghost Wineries“. Flora Springs purchased and brought back to life two of these ghosts. One of these, the Brockhoff winery that was built in 1885, appears on the label of the Flora Springs Ghost Winery Malbec. This is more than a nod to Napa’s past; the grapes for the wine grow in front of this building.

Flora Springs Ghost Winery Malbec

The wine is 100% Malbec, with the fruit all sourced from the Rutherford AVA. It spends twenty-two months in a mix of American and French oak barrels. 

As I poured the first glass, I was struck by its vibrant purple hue. The nose was a blend of dark fruit, wet vegetation, and a waft of vanilla. Excellent acidity combined with flavours of black cherry and dusty tobacco notes. The long finish accentuated the pleasing acidity and exposed lively pepper notes. 

The wine retails for $60. It is more than ready to drink, but should age well for a few more years. 

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