Keenan… On A Real High Quality Roll

Rising to 2,000 feet in a saddle of the Mayacamas range, Keenan’s Spring Mountain estate grows cabernet and merlot with a distinctive balance of freshness and intensity.

 

We’re honored to present to you Michael’s newly released and highly acclaimed 2012 vintages. Keenan was awarded by Wine & Spirits Magazine one of the Top 100 Wineries in 2015. 

Hillside Ambitions.

 

Robert Keenan studied European history at Stanford and “he dove into the history of wine when my mom and her family introduced him to it,” says his son, Michael. “He joined the Chevalier du Tastevin with his father-in-law, and lectured us as kids.” The elder Keenan made his money in real estate and decided to invest some of it in vineyard land. “He knew he didn’t want to be in the valley,” Michael recalls, having worked the first vintage with his father in 1977. “His goal was to grow long-lived, complex wines and he liked the eastern exposure here – and the water (it’s called Spring Mountain for a reason). He wanted to dry farm everything.” Two decades later, after a career in construction, Michael Keenan came back to take over a vineyard ravaged by phylloxera. He’s redeveloped a collection of vineyards that prove his father chose a great site. 

Savory Chardonnay. 

 

Keenan is one of only a handful of Napa growers with mountain chardonnay, farming six acres on a west-facing slope above his reservoir. He hasn’t irrigated those vines in 15 years and their “ridiculously” abundant crop suggests there’s a spring underneath the vineyard. He barrel ferments the fruit without malolactic, building the star-fruit flavors of the grape into earthier notes of bitter almonds, creating a pale white expression of this mountain site to contrast the reds. 

 

“Keenan has been on a real high-quality roll for a number of years, and they are among my favorite wines in Napa Valley, combining power and complexity. They’ve certainly found their groove, so to speak, in this last 10-15 years.”

-Robert M. Parker Jr. 

Keenan Chardonnay Spring Mountain 2013

92 Points Wine & Spirits

Barrel fermented without having gone through malolactic conversion, this is a firm, completely savory chardonnay, gaining its viscosity from the richness of alcohol. The oak feels integrated, driving star-fruit flavors toward earthier tones of bitter almond. A full-bodied white for a veal chop. 

 

Keenan Merlot Napa Valley 2012

91 Points Wine & Spirits

Good merlot can often seem workmanlike, this one satisfied to hit fragrant notes of ripe cherries with clarity. It’s not pushed, and though there’s oak present in the tannins, it frames the fruit well. 

 

Keenan Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard 2012

94 Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
93 Points Wine & Spirits

Special cuvées include the 2012 Merlot Mailbox Vineyard Reserve. This is a relatively limited production cuvée of 400 cases and is always one of Napa’s finest Merlots. Proprietor Michael Keenan, along with his winemaker Nils Venge have generally hit the bull’s eye year whenever they have declared this particular cuvée. Beautiful mocha, white chocolate, jammy black cherry and blackcurrant notes as well as forest floor nuances, are all present in this full-bodied opulent, terrific example of Merlot. This is Merlot at its most complex and this is certainly one of the top examples of this varietal in Northern California. Moreover, despite its accessibility, this wine should drink well for 15 or more years.

 

Keenan Cabernet Napa Valley 2012

9o Wine Advocate, Robert Parker

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa has more cassis, tar, camphor and an attractive, fleshy, full-bodied mouthfeel, impressive ripeness and body. This is a solid Cabernet to drink now and over the next 10-15 years.

Keenan Mernet Reserve Spring Mountain 2012

94 Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
93 Wine & Spirits 

The 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Mernet Reserve, which is a blend of 50% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, may well be Michael Keenan’s favorite wine. Only 500 cases were produced. Chocolaty cassis, graphite, spice box and plum are all present in this sensational blend that should age beautifully for 15-20 years, although most people will have consumed it by year ten. It is remarkable that 2012 is the fourteenth vintage that this proprietary blend has been produced, and it seems like its just yesterday I first tasted it. The color is a handsome, opaque purple. The wine is extremely impressive and still very youthful. Another one or two years of age will round it into more complex shape. 

Keenan Cabernet Reserve Spring Mountain 2012

96 Wine Advocate, Robert Parker
95 Wine & Spirits
93 Vinous Media

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the estate in Spring Mountain Vineyards is the thirty-sixth vintage for the Robert Keenan Winery. This wine has 7% Cabernet Franc added into the blend and 700 cases were produced. A blockbuster wine for sure, with an inky/purple color, sweet crème de cassis, graphite, chocolate a hint of charcoal and burning embers – almost as if it wanted to behave like a Graves from Bordeaux. This is full-bodied, very rich, powerful and still moderately tannic. It’s a baby for sure, but what an impressive one. This wine needs a good 3-4 years of bottle age and should keep well for 25-30 years at the minimum.