Flowers Winery Wine Tasting with Special guest Winemaker Chantal Forthun

Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 07:30 PM

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“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason.”  - Latin saying

 

I always say everyday above ground is reason to drink great wine and when I heard that the winemaker from one of California’s best producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was coming to South Florida, I put a date on the calendar to break bread with Chantal Forthun. 

Flowers winery was started by Walt and Joan Flowers and they sought out the best terroir in northern California for these two Burgundian varietals and this lead them out to the Fort Ross Sea View AVA which is as close to the Pacific Ocean as you can grow grapes.  This extreme growing region is one of the coldest in California and this allows them to make more Burgundian style wines which makes their wines unique and although this style may not appeal to all of those that like the big and fruit forward style of California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay it is a great bridge to Burgundy lovers that want to experience the best that the golden state as to offer.

Join us as we welcome winemaker Chantal Forthun to South Florida for a special tasting of Flowers Winery’s current releases along with a special menu prepared by chef Toni Lampasone.  The fee for this tasting which included dinner is $95 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

Image result for Winemaker Chantal Forthun

Flowers Winery Wine Tasting with Special guest Winemaker Chantal Forthun
Thursday, March 7, 2019
7:30 PM

Reception

Image result for 2017 Flowers Rose of Pinot Noir Sonoma

2017 Flowers Rose of Pinot Noir Sonoma  
Price: $30.00       Sale $26.40

Light red berry fruit strawberry and raspberry with light floral notes and a touch of sea salt like minerality.  A light and refreshing bone dry rose with hints of chalky mineral notes and flowers on the finish.  Finish 35+              Very Good +     

Image result for 2016 Flowers Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

2016 Flowers Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
Price: $50.75    Your Price: $44.66

Out on the true Sonoma Coast, they buy some fruit for this label so they can’t use the new Fort Ross Seaview AVA but all of the estate fruit is from this new AVA even though it is not on the label. A very focused bouquet here, whole cluster pressed 20% new French oak for 12 months this wine has a nice spice to the ripe delicious lemon citrus fruit, lightly toasted oak spice, white floral hints. Bright lemon citrus fruit on the tongue with a good amount of tongue tingly minerality through the finish, light sea shell mineraltiy. Finish 40+ Excellent +

Image result for 2014 Flowers Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge Sonoma Coast

2014 Flowers Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge Sonoma Coast
Price: $94.50    Your Price: $83.16

Rich and mineral laced lots of ripe tree fruit lemon drop candy and hints of carmel corn showing a bit of evolution here on the nose.  A big and balanced chardonnay like a grand cru Burgundy very complex with an almost oily texture here lovely balance and freshness a long mineral laced finish some oak but has lovely balance.      Most Excellent

Image result for 2016 Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2016 Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Price: $49.50    Your Price: $43.56

Pretty floral notes red cherry berry fruit with hints of red licorice spice, nice complexity on the nose.  Rich red berry furit on the tongue with smooth silky tannins and a nice touch of spice and pretty floral notes through the finish, a more elegant style but still has nice nuance and spice through the finish.   Finish 40+  Excellent

Image result for 2014 Flowers Pinot Noir Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Sonoma Coast

2014 Flowers Pinot Noir Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Sonoma Coast
Price: $100.50    Your Price: $88.44

Heritage selections clones, here, Dijon 777, Swan, and others, lots of earthy forest floor blood orange and a nice touch of exotic spices, 20% whole cluster press. This wine has a pretty strawberry fruit to the nose with fresh flowers, exotic spice, very complex bouquet of aromas, truffle and forest floor. Wow and explosion of spice and earth on the palate with a firm hand of acidity and a long layered finish. Finish 50+ Most Excellent

Image result for Flowers Seaview Ridge Pinot Noir 2015

Flowers Seaview Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2015
Price: $75.00       Sale $66.00

(92 Points) Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Sea View Ridge has a fragrant nose of black cherries, pomegranate and chocolate box with wafts of potpourri, tree bark and baking spices. Medium-bodied, firm and grippy, it has a solid core of tightly wound fruit and earth flavors, finishing on a lingering peppery note.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

Menu
Selection of Charcuterie and Cheese
Sea Scallop Carpaccio with Candied Lemon Rind and Ginger Rum Vanilla aioli
Pancetta wrapped Pork Loin served with Black Bean and Hominy over red and yellow pepper puree

The fee3 for this tasting is $95 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

A bit of history about Flowers Winery:

Image result for Flowers Winery
As nursery owners in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Walt and Joan Flowers had long dreamed of combining their love of wine with their passion for agriculture. They knew they wanted to produce their favorite varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; what they didn't know was that their path would eventually lead them across country to Northern California's rugged Sonoma Coast. After responding to a small classified ad in a national wine publication, that's exactly where they landed.

It is serendipitous that Walt Flowers ended up in the nursery business, given his surname. After completing his military service, Walt went to work for Moon Nursery in Bucks County Pennsylvania.

The nursery had a rich history dating back to the mid-1700's when the Moon family received a land grant and sold their first tree in 1767. Generations of the Moon family worked in the thriving business, then the 1920's brought hard times to the nursery - a devastating Japanese beetle infestation, the death of J. Edward Moon and the stock market crash of 1929. By 1936, the William H. Moon Company was bankrupt.

Real estate development claimed most of the nursery land. Hiram Rickert purchased what was left and continued to operate a small wholesale nursery and landscape company. In the late 1960's, the remaining ground was sold to a builder and Walt Flowers bought the Moon name to start the nursery again. When Walt and Joan married in 1982, they joined forces to build the new MOON, a state-of-the-art wholesale nursery, to over 1000 acres in Bucks County, PA and Chesapeake City, MD.

The business required biannual trips to Oregon and California. During these intensive trips, the Flowers carved out time for rest & relaxation and to pursue their interest in wine. It wasn't long before they had a dream of owning a vineyard and winery, realizing they could apply their knowledge and love of farming to California grape growing.

It wasn't until 1989, when Walt and Joan came across a small, three line classified ad for land on the Northern Sonoma Coast that their dream became a reality. Since their first visit to the property, the Flowers have maintained their belief that this tiny viticultural area could produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of the highest quality.

The rugged 321 acre property situated less than two miles from the Pacific Ocean included a ridge top at elevations ranging from 1150' - 1400'. Expecting the same foggy weather they had experienced along the coast, the Flowers were excited to discover abundant sunshine on the ridge. However, the overall temperature was still relatively cool due to the property's proximity to the ocean, the cool morning fog below 1000' and the afternoon sea breezes coming over the ridge.

It did not take Walt and Joan long to see that they were standing on a "warm site in a cool climate," the ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They purchased the property in 1990 and by 1991 had planted 23 acres on the narrow ridge, long known as Camp Meeting Ridge.

Camp Meeting Ridge represents the heart and soul of Flowers Vineyard & Winery. Since that initial planting of the old Wente clone from the Hyde Vineyard, the estate vineyard has grown to a total of 33 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir planted on the high, narrow ridge running parallel to the nearby coastline. In June 1997, construction of a gravity-flow winery specifically designed for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production was completed.

Just when the Flowers thought their vineyard and winery were complete, a neighbor presented them with an opportunity to purchase an additional 327 acres. Like Camp Meeting Ridge, the rugged property was less than two miles from the Pacific but it had two ridges at elevations ranging from 1400' - 1875'. Flowers Ranch, as everyone soon called the property, was also a warm site in a cool climate. Forty-seven acres of Pinot Noir vines were planted from 1998 - 2001. In 2004, two distinct vineyards were recognized as part of Flowers Ranch, the 25 acre Frances Thompson Vineyard and the 22 acre Sea View Ridge Vineyard.

Winery expansion to handle the additional fruit started in 2003 and was finished in time for the 2004 harvest. Today Flowers Vineyard & Winery represents one of three bonded wineries in the northern Sonoma Coast. The geographical area in which it is located represents less than 1% of the Sonoma Coast AVA. The immeasurable quality of this tiny region's fruit, however, far exceeds its size.

Today, Flowers Winery produces 15,000 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from its two estate properties, Camp Meeting Ridge and Flowers Ranch, as well as select vineyards in the coolest regions of the Sonoma Coast AVA, which are farmed to Flowers' specifications by their own crews. In addition to direct consumer sales, the wines are sold to fine restaurants and retailers in the US and overseas.

A large equity stake in the winery was recently sold to Huneeus Vintners, marking a new chapter in the Flowers story.  The reason for this was simply that Walt and Joan are getting older, and their only heir (a daughter of Walt's by a previous marriage) isn't interested in taking over the winery. They wanted a partner, and so went looking for someone to come in and make sure that the winery would continue to thrive without a strict dependence on them.  After a long courtship they selected Huneeus, who owns several wineries around the world, perhaps most notably Quintessa in Napa.

The folks at Flowers indicate that basically nothing has changed there since the acquisition, which took place in January of 2010, and that not much probably will change for quite some time.  At least for now, Huneeus is interested in making sure Flowers does what it has always done: turn out great wine. 

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