Q&A with John Komes, Proprietor of Flora Springs and Jon Nathaniel Wines
John Komes is the proprietor of Flora Springs in Napa Valley.
Owned and operated by Komes and his family since 1978, Flora Springs is known for a portfolio of estate-grown wines that includes Trilogy, its flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, Soliloquy, its proprietary Sauvignon Blanc, as well as critically-acclaimed Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays and Merlots. Recently, Komes and his son, Nat, started a new wine project, Jon Nathaniel Wines, which focuses on small production wines from the family’s own vineyards.
Komes, who has worked with Distinguished Clubs extensively during his career, believes that fine wine plays an important role in enhancing the member experience at private clubs. Recently, Komes talked about Jon Nathaniel Wines and the very special wine he’s created just for Distinguished Clubs: the Jon Nathaniel Distinguished Clubs Cabernet Blend.
How did Jon Nathaniel Wines come about?
Having overseen Flora Springs for so many years, I was anxious to start again with something smaller, a project that would allow me to focus on a few very high-quality wines from our family’s vineyards. I also wanted the opportunity to work closely with my son Nat, who grew up with Flora Springs and is the winery’s general manager. At its core, Jon Nathaniel represents a return to our roots.
Where are the wines from?
They’re grown in Napa Valley, in vineyards our family has owned for decades. Because they’re made in such limited quantities, Nat and I are able to be very hands on with these wines. We’re constantly tasting through the barrels and winnowing them down to the absolute best. Jon Nathaniel is all about quality over quantity.
Tell us about the Distinguished Clubs Cabernet Blend.
As a winery owner, I know that one of the best ways to instill loyalty among customers is by offering them something special, something they can’t get anywhere else. This bottle, which we created exclusively for Distinguished Clubs, provides clubs with a unique offering that is only available to their members.
The bottle is so unusual; where did you find it?
My wife Carrie and I happened to be visiting a winery in Nova Scotia when I saw the bottle in the tasting room. I knew immediately I had to have it for Distinguished Clubs. What strikes me is how elegant it is in a dining situation. It’s got a flat side so it can sit on a table horizontally as well as vertically, there’s no need for a wine cradle. Because of its shape, we have to fill and label each bottle by hand; it’s a pretty meticulous undertaking.
Tell us about the wine.
I’ve always said that single-vineyard wines are a gift of nature, but blended wines are the creation of the winemaker. This one is a blend of classic Bordeaux varietals, it’s a fruit-driven wine, silky on the palate with a lingering finish. It’s picked up complexity from aging. It’s ready to enjoy now, but it can easily age for another five years. BR To learn more about the Jon Nathaniel 2013 Distinguished Clubs Cabernet Blend, or to schedule a winemaker dinner with Flora Springs, contact Richard Tiedemann at RTiedemann@florasprings.com. BR
To learn more about the Jon Nathaniel 2013 Distinguished Clubs Cabernet Blend, or to schedule a winemaker dinner with Flora Springs, contact Richard Tiedemann at RTiedemann@florasprings.com.