Our 2006 Merlot isn't shy, with its deep, dark garnet hue and abounding aromas of rich black
cherry, cassis and clove. Approachable, integrated tannins frame the generous dark fruit
flavors and coat the palate with soft velvet. The long, fruity finish, laced with autumn spices,
ends with a lively cranberry zing. "This is a very classy wine from a gorgeous vintage. Take
that, Miles!" laughs Winemaker Tom Rinaldi, with a reference to the film Sideways.
Provenance Vineyards showcases the distinctiveness of Napa Valley's best growing areas for red wines by selecting some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Rutherford and Oakville districts and Merlot vineyards in the Carneros district. The same uncompromising approach also characterizes Provenance winemaking, with the goal of bringing the grapes from these great vineyards to their fullest potential. Starting with its inaugural 1999 vintage, Provenance's approachable, yet cellar-worthy wines display a fine symmetry of substance and elegance.
The word provenance means "origin" or "source." In the art world, a provenance is the record of a work’s ownership, from its creation to the present day. Connoisseurs place great importance in provenance as a guarantee of authenticity. The name reflects Provenance Vineyards' goal of creating fine wines that are works of art.
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
A bit closed to start and more spicy than fruity. Grows fruitier and richer after decanting. Concentrated flavors of pomegranate and ripe cherries. Great depth & velvety tannins. Long, fruity finish, with spices & cranberry. This wine will definitely improve with time, but really good now as well.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.