Our Cabernet Sauvignon’s “sense of place” comes from selecting the vast majority of the grapes from three outstanding vineyards in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area. These are our estate vineyards, Hewitt and Wildwood, and one that we
purchase, which is Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III. Georges III and Wildwood vineyards are located on the eastern side of the appellation, while Hewitt vineyard is located on the western benchland near our winery. The balance of the blend comes from several of our favorite vineyards in Calistoga and Oakville.
After hand harvesting the fruit, we hand sorted the clusters and then, following destemming, hand sorted the individual grapes to assure the highest quality. To gently extract opulent color and flavors from the skins, we cold soaked the partially crushed grapes for three days. Two to three weeks of post-fermentation skin contact—the length depending on varietal and vineyard personality—developed varietal expression. In-barrel malolactic fermentation rounded the mouthfeel and
small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot broadened the spectrum of aromas and flavors.
Although in 2015 we received three-quarters of our normal rainfall, the cumulative effect of four years of drought in Napa Valley resulted in a light crop. Fortunately, the vintage made up for the small quantity by yielding outstanding grape quality. The small clusters and dry, warm conditions promoted an early, condensed harvest that kept us hopping. At Provenance, we began picking Sauvignon Blanc on August 8 and wrapped up the crush with Cabernet Sauvignon by October 12. The wines of 2015 are known for their highly concentrated, complex flavors.