I sat down with Jason Jardine, president of Flowers Vineyards last month at Pogo’s and had an opportunity to taste some of the Flower’s wine portfolio. I’ve been a fan of the Flowers Pinot Noirs in the past and served them at my daughter’s Baptism several years ago. Jason told me about growing up in Central Valley and how his passion for wine began. He lived in the tank house behind his grandmother’s house with vineyards everywhere, but not on his family’s property. At 12 years old, he needed to go to work and did so in a neighbor’s vineyard. That path eventually took him to Oregon into vineyard management. He sold that business at 21 and went to Mondavi to learn the art of winemaking. He later returned to Oregon where he planted and managed Domaine Serene – one of my favorite Oregon wines.
Jason has a belief in sustainable farming, organics and biodynamic wines. In 2010, he started working for Flowers, which coincidentally is the year the label changed, and is proud to say that all of the wines there are now biodynamically farmed. You’ll find Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Syrah and Chardonnay planted.
- The 09 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay was clean, mineral, full of citrus and lemon curd. It’s the type of Old World style that I like without being a butter bomb. Six vineyards send grapes to make this wine.
- The next wine was the 08 Camp Meeting Ridge, which was the first Flowers vineyard planted. The land features six types of soil mostly comprised of rock. This was a wine that showed the essence of its terrior – earthiness, berry and a complexity that surprised me.
- 10 Pinot Sonoma Coast, which was just released the end of March, was full of bright fruit like cranberry and pomegranate. It had soft tannins and was drinkable today, but will definitely evolve over the years.
- The 08 Sea View Ridge had a funkiness to it and that’s not a bad thing. The vineyard is located higher than the others on volcanic rock. I tasted cherry, cardamom and a definite spiciness.
- I find that I really enjoy blends and the 08 Perennial is no exception. This had all of Flowers offerings blended together. It drank like a pinot, but had a depth to it. I tasted spice, berry, tea leaves, tobacco and almost a gaminess, which again was a good thing)