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Keenan Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
$194.95 + GST
Napa Valley, United States
95 Points – Wine & Spirits
Michael Keenan’s collection of vineyard parcels at high elevations on Spring Mountain created a totally delicious 2017 Reserve. Its pure mountain-blueberry essence is hard to find outside of a sunny August day spent eating blueberries straight off the bush. There’s also a brighter glimmer of red fruit, seeming to reflect off the mineral tannins as the flavors leap out of the glass. A chef friend remarked on the complexity of this wine and how it would be easy to drink a lot of it: “The tannins are kind of perfect, begging for teriyaki beef.” Those fruit tannins have a delicacy and freshness that’s rare in any vintage, and may be a marker for the best of the 2017s.
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.
While the beauty and history of the land are appealing, it is the richness of the soils that makes the hillside perfect for an estate winery. These soils are, in great measure, responsible for the dramatic intensity of the fruit associated with the ultra-premium wines produced at Robert Keenan Winery.
Keenan completed a solar power system on their property that went on-line in 2007. The system supplies all of the estate’s energy needs, including the winery, administrative offices, visitor hospitality area, and the homes located on the property. The Napa Valley Vintners have recognized Keenan as a “green” winery, which they proudly announce on the back labels: Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed.
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