||5 years or more
Our 2006 Provenance Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley 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.
Winemakers Chris Cooney and Rinaldi chose Merlot from two subappelations of Napa Valley: Los Carneros and Oak Knoll. The Oak Knoll fruit gives the wine rich, ripe flavors and softer texture, while the cooler Los Carneros region–closer to the San Francisco Bay–provides lively acidity and bright, red fruit Merlot character. They selected grapes from six blocks of the Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard and two from an Oak Knoll vineyard. These well-drained, high quality vineyard blocks are trained and pruned to maximize flavor intensity from sun exposure and prolonged hangtime. Variations in soils and mesoclimate contribute to our Merlot’s complex array of fruit and spice expression.
“It was a long and rewarding harvest, perhaps—with all due respect for 2001—the best of the decade so far,” says Cooney. “Vine balance (leaf-to-fruit ratio) was more consistent in 2006, promoting slow, even fruit ripening and a relaxed harvest. Berry size was smaller than average in Rutherford, leading to highly structured wines. The 2006 vintage quality looks excellent; our red wines show great depth, flavor concentration and velvety tannins, even at this early stage in their development.”