Provenance is a moderately high-end operation in Rutherford in Napa Valley with a focus on big reds. Today we look at a quartet of new releases, all from the 2016 vintage in current release.
2016 Provenance Chardonnay Carneros – Chewy chardonnay, oaky and chewy on the palate, but cut just so with notes of lemon and grapefruit. Buttery vanilla notes endure well into the finish, however, leaving a somewhat cloying aftertaste that’s hard to shake. B / $15
2016 Provenance Merlot Napa Valley – Tight at first, this merlot slowly opens up to reveal layers of character. Chocolate comes first, then black cherry, then a mint component. While this wine could well be mistaken for cabernet (or a meritage), there’s a softness on the palate that belies its merlotness, particularly when you reach the silky, minimally tannic finish and its gentle floral influence. B+ / $32
2016 Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford – Approachable cabernet, distinctly on the softer side — though that’s not meant as an insult. Fresh blueberries and raspberries outpace a light balsamic character, which add a certain austerity to the otherwise straightforward wine, its finishing chocolate and cassis notes tempered by a surprising acidity. B+ / $35
2016 Provenance Deadeye Red Blend Napa Valley – A red blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 12% petit sirah, 5% merlot, 5% petit verdot, and 2% malbec. Notes of chocolate and hazelnuts inform a silky palate of dense cassis and blueberry, with well-integrated tannins enduring into the lasting finish. Violet floral notes are evident, but only after a bit of air time. It’s a bold and aggressive wine, but one that deftly threads the needle, preventing it from ever becoming overwrought. A- / $40