This special bottling comes from the Shifflet Vineyard on the sloping benchlands of the Oak Knoll AVA and the Las Amigas Vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA. The influence of cool breezes from the San Francisco Bay fosters rich, yet bright, Merlot flavors. To enhance the wine’s structure, a small percentage of Cabernet Franc from Tamagni Vineyard in the Calistoga AVA contributed additional structure and tannin. Cold soaking the destemmed grapes accentuated the wine’s fruitiness, while barrel aging married oak spices with Merlot’s dark berry flavors.
Appellation: Oak Knoll, Los Carneros, Calistoga
Barrel Aging: 22 Months, 100% French Oak (50% New)
Varietal Composition: 97% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Production: 376 cases
“This has lots of character with tobacco, black olive and dark fruits. Full body, juicy and chewy. Structured and rich. Need at least two or three years to come together. Yes it is merlot. Try in 2020.” - James Suckling, December 2017
“Burly yet structured, this robust varietal wine, blended with 3% Cabernet Franc, is supple with underlying grip. Big boned in style, it offers a wealth of bold cassis, dark cherry and sage.” - Virginie Boone, September 2018
Our 2014 Barrel Select Merlot was chosen from our finest barrels of the vintage---ones that showed extraordinary sense of place, as well as exceptional texture and balance. This wine’s terroir expression comes from three Napa Valley vineyards located in the Oak Knoll, Los Carneros and Calistoga appellations. This Merlot’s aromas reveal deep, black cherry and blackberry character with hints of dark chocolate, bergamot, wild sage and violet. The focused entry expands into sumptuous, dark-fruit flavors with warm nuances of vanilla and baking spice from aging in French oak barrels. Supple tannins and vibrant acidity beautifully frame the flavors and carry them through the long finish.
Our winemakers tasted every single barrel to select ones that capture the distinctive array of flavors and plush mouthfeel that Merlot develops in the cooler, southern regions of Napa Valley. They selected 85 percent of the wine from Shifflet Vineyard on the sloping benchlands of the Oak Knoll AVA and 12 percent from Las Amigas Vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA. Both of these regions have cooling influences from the San Francisco Bay and well-drained soils, which slow the ripening of Merlot for full flavor maturity and supple tannins. To enhance the wine’s structure, they blended in three percent Cabernet Franc from Tamagni Vineyard in the Calistoga AVA, which is located at the northern end of Napa Valley.
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 up to low, but adequate, helping to relieve three years of drought conditions. Warm temperatures promoted early budbreak in spring 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.
We hand-harvested the Merlot clusters into half-ton bins to minimize crushing and then quickly brought them to our winery. We then destemmed the grapes maintaining approximately 60 percent whole berries to maximize fruitiness during fermentation. For gentle extraction of varietal character, we cold soaked the must for two days before the two-week fermentation. Aging in 50 percent new French oak barrels wove vanilla and toasty oak nuances through the lush, silky flavors.