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    Stamp

    Keenan

    Merlot Napa Valley

    United States, California

    Red

    Winery Overview

    High in the Mayacamas Range, at an elevation of 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley floor, are Spring Mountain and the Robert Keenan Winery and vineyards. This area was first identified as prime vineyard land by Peter Conradi in the late 19th century when he planted 100 acres of terraced vineyard in Zinfandel and Syrah grapes. The Conradi Winery operated until Prohibition when the vineyards and winery fell out of use. In 1974, Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres of forest on the defunct Conradi Winery site. No vines remained. Only the crumbling walls of the former winery and a few old broken tanks told of its history, but Robert was certain the mountain top vineyards would be perfect for an estate winery. He replaced tree stumps and rocks with rows of Cabernet and Chardonnay, hired an engineer to redesign the original winery structure, and brought in a contractor to begin construction. The winery was made operational just in time for the harvest of 1977. From that time on, Keenan has earned a great reputation for producing wines of intense character and renowned acclaim. Keenan focuses on three varietals – Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It produces nearly 14,000 cases per year. Combining the dedication of experienced winemakers with a commitment to excellence, the Robert Keenan Winery has distinguished itself as a maker of exceptional wines– in limited varietals and quantity. Wines for sipping, wines for enjoying, wines for enhancing any occasion. In the last eight vintages, 42 wines have been rated between 90 and 97 points by Robert Parker Jr.

    Vineyard

    The family owns 170 acres of which approximately 48 are planted to vines in the Spring Mountain District at an elevation of 1700 feet. Located on the eastern slope of the Mayacamas range. The low vigor soils and steep, rocky mountainsides create a stressful growing environment producing grapes of great concentration, structure, and pure flavors. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.

    Soil

    Eleven acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa.

    Viticulture

    The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine. Composed of eighty percent Keenan Estate Merlot. Twenty percent of the wine is Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. Hand harvested.

    Vinification

    De-stemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from ten to fourteen days.

    Aging

    Aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months.

    Scores & Ratings
    91
    Vinous
    89
    Vinous
    92
    Wine Advocate
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