Keenan Mernet Reserve 2014 | Spring Mountain District
In his 96-point Vinous review, Antonio Galloni raves: “The Keenan Mernet Reserve 2014 Spring Mountain District is a total knock-out.” He gushes over the “striking mid-palate sweetness and overall depth (that) add to the wine’s unmistakable personality.” A mere 20 barrels of Mernet, a classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, are produced each year by Winemaker Michael Keenan. Most are snapped up quickly by the Keenan mailing list.
Wine Advocate 95 Points. Another Reserve cuvée, the equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is the Keenan Mernet Reserve 2014. Deep opaque ruby/purple, with sweet crème de cassis and black cherry notes. In addition, some underbrush and forest floor, medium to full body, and outstanding purity and texture. Elegant, intense and authoritative. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.”
Winemaker Michael Keenan
It isn’t often that we meet with a winery to taste and we’re floored by every single wine they present. While this happens maybe 3 times a year. Candidly, that’s what happens every year when Michael Keenan comes to visit. Michael is the GM and winemaker at this outstanding Spring Mountain property, which his dad Robert Keenan resurrected from the bones of a 19th-century ghost winery in 1977. Keenan has flown under the radar for a long time — that is until Bob Parker had something to say about it: “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
There stood two glasses and a bottle of the 96-point 2014 Mernet Reserve, the wine Antonio Galloni called “a total knock-out.” I had to agree. Michael’s super-cuvée is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, made entirely from Spring Mountain District estate fruit.
Michael Keenan is calm, collected, and zen-like. Since taking over for his father in 1998, Michael has propelled the estate to greater and greater heights. A master of mountain winemaking, he has focused on letting the natural qualities of his fruit sources emerge through his wines. In doing so, he successfully threads the needle of combining Napa ripeness with Bordeaux refinement, texture, and succulence. In the Keenan Mernet Reserve 2014, Keenan harnesses the best of two worlds once again. First, Cabernet’s mountainous dark-fruit purity and power meet elegant, wildly aromatic Merlot. Then, yielding an incredibly rich, complex, yet refined offering.
Spring Mountain District | Robert Keenan Winery
The Spring Mountain AVA is the coolest and wettest of Napa Valley. Yet, most years, cool summer afternoons give way to waterfalls of fog that billow over the western ridge and down through the canyons. In the evening, as cool air settles over the valley floor, warm air is pushed up into the mountains. While combining the effects of cooler days and warmer nights allows Bordeaux varieties to ripen more slowly than elsewhere. Hence, resulting in greater flavor complexity. Including accents of cracked pepper and sage — along with superbly balanced sugars and acids.
As Spring Mountain District tends to get 10 to 15 inches more rain than St. Helena down below, it’s in the dry, mild years that Keenan often shines brightest. 2014 was just such a vintage. Meticulously managed vines yielded intensely concentrated berries with deep flavor and color. Michael’s translation in the glass was spectacular. Finally, Robert Parker wrote that Michael Keenan “has been doing an impeccable job of winemaking for a number of years now. And of course, they continue to show a Midas touch across all varieties they work with.”