It seems that California’s mountain estates can do no wrong these days, with pioneers such as Philip Togni, Mayacamas, and Diamond Creek leading the way. Still relatively unknown outside of the US, the solar-powered, sustainably farmed Keenan Winery joins the ranks of high-altitude producers creating incredibly long-lived, concentrated wines of exceptional quality.
Convinced that the rugged terrain of the Maycamas could produce wines that rivalled the best in the world, Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres on the eastern slopes of Spring Mountain in 1974 and laid the foundation for what now stands as one of Napa Valley’s great family-owned wineries. High atop the mountain, at an elevation of 1,700 feet, Keenan’s vineyards are nestled amongst an otherwise remote and heavily forested expanse.
To see just how remote the area is and to take a virtual tour of the vineyards and winery, click here.
In 1998 Robert’s son Michael Keenan took over leadership of the estate and the team made the decision to replant the vineyards to increase grape quality. In addition, they installed a solar power system that went online in 2007 and now supplies all of the estate’s energy needs. The Napa Valley Vintners have recognized Keenan as a “green” winery, which they proudly announce on their bottle labels.
The low vigour soils of the Spring Mountain District are known to create a stressful environment for vine growth, setting up perfect conditions to produce grapes of great concentration, structure, and pure varietal flavours. Created from a backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Cabernet Franc, it’s the flagship Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2018 that we have to offer today.
Described by Vinous’ Antonio Galloni as a “great example of Spring Mountain” he notes that this 2018 bottling is “super-impressive, even in the early going”, awarding a well-deserved 96-points.
700 cases of the 2018 Reserve were produced, with the vast majority remaining Stateside. This is an exciting opportunity to add something interesting and lesser-known to your cellar where these bottles can happily wait out another couple of decades if needs be. This is available in cardboard cases of 12 or can be purchased as single bottles.
Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2018
£120 per bottle IB
96 Points | Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is such a great example of Spring Mountain. Powerful and virile, the classically-built Reserve packs a serious punch. I would give it a few years to soften, but it is super-impressive, even in the early going. Crushed red berry fruit, iron, dried flowers, mint and spice lead into the long, sculpted finish. (Drink between 2026-2043).
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