Cabernet Season is the perfect time to visit a winery you always wanted to try but never have. For me, that winery was Provenance Vineyards. Situated in Rutherford, on Highway 29 between Yountville and St. Helena, Provenance stands out against the green hills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Once you pull in, you are immediately impressed by the large comfortable patio complete with lawn games and the ability to have a picnic!
Before starting on the Reserve Tasting Jessica brings me one of the best cheeses I have ever had. The soft cheese was a mixture of aged white gouda, white cheddar, garlic and white wine; it paired perfectly with all the wines I tried.
Provenance offers the ability to taste wines from appellations all over the valley. My favorite way to taste wines from across Napa Valley is to do a side by side tasting. This allows you to compare the wines to each other and discover the distinct characteristics of each.
Diamond Mountain is located in the Western Mayacamas Mountain Range. The grapes grow at an elevation of 500-900 feet and enjoy cool breezes coming in from Sonoma. The Diamond Mountain Cabernet has an incredibly silky mouthfeel and you can almost smell the forest floor. The rich dark fruit and berry flavors encompass your senses leaving you feeling like you just experienced a truly remarkable wine.
In comparison Howell Mountain is located in the Eastern Vaca Mountain Range. Much warmer and sunnier Howell Mountain is known for producing big bold cabs and the Provenance Cab is no exception to that. This is a great wine to pair with food; it would go perfectly with prime rib and hearty mushrooms.
Hewitt Vineyards is located in Rutherford and has been producing highly sought after grapes since 1880. Hewitt Vineyard has the advantage of being close to the mountains but not so close that it is shaded in the afternoon which allows the Cabernet grapes to ripen evenly throughout the summer. Provenance’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Hewitt Vineyards is everything you expect a Napa Valley Cabernet to be. Opulent and rich with strong hints of blackberry and cassis and a finish that reminds you of the silkiness of creme brulee it is a wine that you can drink now or lay down for 10 years.
Next up, was the To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. To Kalon might just be the most famous vineyard in Napa Valley. To Kalon was first planted in 1868 by Hamilton W. Crabb. To Kalon is located in Oakville. The vineyards sun exposure and micro climate produce grapes with complex flavors. Provenances 2013 To Kalon was my favorite cab of the day. You are immediately struck by the structure of the wine. Strong flavors of berry and bay leaf quickly transport you to the site of the vineyards.
The last cab in my side by side experience was the Sleeping Lady Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Yountville. The Sleeping Lady was softer and very fruit forward. This is the type of Cabernet Sauvignon that doesn’t need to be paired with a steak to enjoy.
The best way to spend Cabernet Season in the Napa Valley is to discover new places and experiences. Whether you are looking to sit and enjoy a glass of wine or do a side by side tasting, like I did, Provenance is a must for your Napa Valley trip.