93 Points, James Suckling
"A tight and linear red with blackberry
and chocolate character. Full body
and firm tannins and a flavorful
finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon,
malbec, petit verdot, cabernet franc
and merlot. Beautiful now but better
in 2020. Screw cap."
Dry, early and shaking is how 2014 will be remembered in Napa Valley, yet it had a silver lining with small, concentrated berries and high quality. February’s rains brought the total rainfall from low to adequate and help relieve three years of drought conditions. Warm temperatures promoted early budbreak and accelerated grape maturation. Just as harvest began, a dramatic 6.0 earthquake shook Napa Valley awake on August 24; Provenance was fortunate to come through unscathed. We finished the very compact, plentiful harvest by mid-October and celebrated the vintage’s “ripened-to-perfection” grapes.
After hand-harvesting the fruit and then hand-sorting it twice at the winery, we gently destemmed the grapes to retain at least 60 percent whole berries. Three days of cold-soaking before fermentation gently extracted the deep purple color and rich varietal flavors from the skins. A portion of the wine was fermented in barrels, with the balance in stainless steel to enhance the plush texture of the wine and integrate fruit and oak character. Following fermentation, extended skin contact, and gentle pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels to round out the acidity. Aging in French oak barrels wove toasty oak tones through the dark-fruit character.