In the last 10 days I have had the pleasure to attend two outstanding wine dinners. As I reported in last week’s blog, Uptown Dining Group and Tiedemann On Wines hosted the 9th Annual Valentine’s Uptown Kitchen Wine Dinner. The dinner was on Saturday evening February 11, 2017. The following Monday I was pleased to attend the Flora Springs Wine Dinner at Temper Grille in Granger, Ind. Not only was it an outstanding wine event but made all that much better as I got to share the evening with two good friends: Jonathan Lutz, owner of the Uptown Kitchen and The Mark restaurants, and Sam Tongue, a talented Social Media Specialist at Federated Digital Solutions.
One of the other highlights of the evening was to finally meet Richard Tiedemann, Director of Winery Relations at Flora Springs Winery in California. I had known of Richard but never had the opportunity to meet him prior to this wine dinner.
About a month ago, Roman Yoder, Wine Director/Manager at Temper Grille, sent me a note telling me of the upcoming Flora Springs dinner and that Richard Tiedemann would be the host. In later notes he referenced him as my long lost brother. Actually we aren’t related but do spell our last name the same. Our spelling is unusual (with the double n) so it is fun when you find another Tiedemann with the same spelling.
Throughout the evening we had great conversations…discussing wine, Napa Valley and the many friends we have in common. I’ll be visiting Napa in April and hopefully we can meet up again while I am there.
The wine dinner was a five-course event prepared by Chef Sean Kelley and his kitchen team. The Flora Springs wines paired with the food featured two white wines: Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and three reds: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Red Blend.
According to Richard, Flora Springs was founded in 1978, but its grape growing history dates back to the late 1800s. In 1978 John and Carrie Komes and Julie and Pat Garvey established Flora Springs and named it after Flora Komes, John and Julie’s mother and the natural springs that are prevalent throughout the property. The operation has grown over the years and more family members have become involved.
The Evening’s Wines
2015 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc with grapes from two separate vineyards. The wine is very fruit forward, both on the nose and the palate with hints of grapefruit, pear and perhaps some nuttiness. The finish is spicy, and offers tastes of minerals which add to a balanced finish of a good length.
2014 Family Select Chardonnay
The wine is 100% Chardonnay with the grapes coming from two vineyards: one in Oakville and one in Carneros. It has a nose of ripe fruit with the palate displaying more fruit and hints of caramel. The finish is buttery and a bit spicy with a touch of oak. Overall the finish is of a nice length.
2014 Napa Valley Merlot
The wine is 100% Merlot. The nose offers plenty of dark fruit. The dark fruit flavors of black cherry and plum continue on the palate and the finish is long with a hint of oak, vanilla and dark chocolate. The wine leaves a mild fruity feeling in the mouth.
Single Vineyard Wild Boar Cabernet Suavignon
The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for this wine come from Flora Springs Cypress Ranch Vineyard in Pope Valley. The nose identified the wine as a Cabernet right away. It was bold with plenty of black fruit aromas and hints of vanilla. On the palate the black fruit continued with small amounts of caramel and chocolate. The finish was structured, with good tannins and offered a mouth coating experience.
Trilogy Red Blend
The Trilogy Red Blend is one of Flora Springs’ flagship wines. It is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 6% Petite Verdot. The Trilogy is a full-bodied wine with hints of black fruit and leather on the nose. On the palate the black fruit is even more prevalent along with cocoa and vanilla. The finish is long and balanced with a fleshy mouth feel.
The Wild Boar Cabernet and the Trilogy Blend were my two favorite wines of the evening. All of the wines are available from the winery and can be ordered through their website or call the winery direct at 800-913-1118. They will ship directly to you in Indiana.
As I mention frequently, a great way to educate yourself on wines is by attending wine dinners and wine tastings such as the Temper Grille dinner. It gives you the opportunity to taste a variety of wines and receive an excellent explanation on the wines from various wine experts, all at a cost less than buying the wines on your own at a retail venue.
Thanks to the Temper Grille team and my dinner mates, Jonathan Lutz and Sam Tongue, for a great evening of food, wine and friendship.
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Until next week,