Provenance Wines in the Geelong wine region was the first stop on our Western Victoria walkabout. We really, really recommend a visit. I know we don’t post our numerical ratings here (for many reasons) but this winery has achieved the highest average wine score of ANY of the wineries written about so far in our walkabout journeys.
There are a number of reasons for this, but ultimately it comes down to one word: CONSISTENCY. The wine with the single highest rating was not from Provenance (we’re also not going to say where it was from since this site is not about telling you what we think are the best wines to buy, but rather what are the cellar doors worth visiting and which wines you should TRY) but the majority of the wines tasted rated very highly across all grape types and styles. Drinkers of all preferences may well find multiple cellar-worthy wines at this cellar door (the food is also first-rate which makes it well worth a day trip…)
2018 Henty Riesling: This wine has a slight pink tinge in the glass and the bouquet is misleading, not being the typical Riesling array of scents. Fans of minerality will enjoy the palate on this wine as there is sharp introduction in the mouth (which does hide the fruit somewhat, but this may have been the winemaker’s aim). The structure fades in the finish somewhat but there is enough acid present to suggest this wine would benefit from a few years of careful cellaring. $30 per bottle.
2016 “Griesling” Pinot Gris/Riesling: In comparison to the straight Riesling, this wine has a distinct layer of oak in the bouquet. The 50/50 blend of Pinot Gris and Riesling are interwoven with a smoothness that is testament to the skill of the winemaker and also unlike the straight Riesling, this wine shows a lot of fruit straight away in the mouth. Again, there is some room for a more structured finish (it dies away more quickly than some of the other whites) but overall this is a very nice wine. $25 per bottle.
Tarrington Pinot Gris: The gold colour of this wine in the glass is more akin to an aged Chardonnay than a Pinot Gris, which is not an issue as the wine looks exceptional in the glass. The nose is almost perfect, perhaps lacking a bit of force with which to announce itself; the variety is clear. In terms of taste the palate is well rounded with good complexity (much more so than the Griesling blend, so slow down a bit when tasting…) the balance in the finish is excellent and the length is reasonable with the acid being kept perfectly in check. $30 per bottle.
2017 Golden Plains Chardonnay: OUR PICK FOR BEST WHITE. Whilst the colour is only light-gold and doesn’t have the brilliance of the Pinot Gris, the bouquet is similarly near-flawless and the palate equally complex, with good use of oak coming through both in the nose and the mouth. A very pleasant aftertaste coupled with excellent balance makes this a brilliant wine. $32 per bottle.
Golden Plains Pinot Noir: OUR PICK FOR BEST RED. It is a mystery how the team at Provenance have managed to make a wine that is so dark in the glass but so light in the finish, but somehow they have succeeded. The deep darkness of the mulberry colour in the glass has a level of brilliance rarely seen with this variety and yet the depth and clarity have not been affected at all. The bouquet is faultless, showing all the typical Pinot Noir characteristics with great finesse and poise, almost demanding a taste. It is the fruit in the palate however which really takes this wine to the next level; completely outshining the herbaceous flavours into a background role. The finish on this wine is near perfect, with balance, tannin structure and smoothness all brilliant; a bit more length is all that is left wanting. $32 per bottle.
Western Districts Shiraz: The deep purple colour of this wine is excellent, but not up to the brilliance of the Golden Plains Pinot. Still exceptional depth and clarity which makes the wine look very inviting in the glass. The bouquet shows some interesting notes with a lot of complexity (truffle is perhaps evident with some sweet but earthy flavours coming through). This is an excellent value for money wine and our second favourite of the red wines on taste. $25 per bottle.
Geelong Shiraz: The colour is not quite as deep as the Western Districts shiraz, but maintains the exceptional clarity. The nose is much more recognisable as a Shiraz with the violets and plums coming through the savoury notes. Upon tasting, the concentration of flavours is simply amazing, although there is more acid in the palate than the Western Districts shiraz. The finish is excellent and shows somewhat better tannin structure than the Western Districts shiraz but somehow fails to deliver the same intrigue. $34 per bottle.