I’m not saying I’ve never had a bad 2011 Napa cab, but none stand out in my memory like this one will. Deep garnet–heavily bricked while nearly impenetrable. Over-ripe, a nose of wasting-away fruit FAR too chubby: heavily pruned with an alcohol side-show for emphasis. Good earthy eucalyptus mint and spice tinge various regions of it, but a black, tired, tarry specter reigns supreme. It’s like a flat tire on the way to a really nice party; a splinter from beautiful rubbed wood; bloom on a Godiva truffle; the whole package tainted with perverse ripeness and cloying raisin fatigue.
It tastes tired-er than it smells, and alcoholic wobblings sway presentation sharply. Cheap and valley-generic feeling, it is NOT aging well. I seem to recall a valley-floor wine from 11 not too long ago similar in texture. While the brand escapes me, I recall noting it *felt* like they had fluffed it up to counter-act the “poor” vintage, causing a chubby, unbalanced wine–while probably quite yummily counter-vintage on release–aging ungracefully. Knowing the way this producer typically formulates their wines causes me identical musings. The fruit a muddy, musty conglomerate of soggy bottom-drawer refer-greens, the etch of acid burning holes in its hair-trigger veil. Alcohol sears the finish and tannin is nary to be found. About as forgettable as you can get. Gone far too young, all for crimes of early popularity and brand-consistency despite vintage.
2011 PROVENANCE Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 14.5