Keenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Fifteen 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. 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.
The 2009 Keenan Merlot is composed of seventy seven percent Keenan Estate Merlot. Twenty three percent of the wine is Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. After hand harvesting, the grapes were destemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from ten to fourteen days.
The ‘09 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The resulting wine shows intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. Complex nuances of cocoa and coffee bean emerge as the wine opens up. This is a “big” Merlot that will age for many years to come.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate, Issue # 204 December 2012
91 Points “The 2009 Merlot is a bigger, richer wine than the 2010, but it doesn’t have that wine’s finesse or vibrancy. Still, there is an immediacy and a juiciness in the 2009 that is highly appealing. Hints of sweet tobacco, crushed flowers and incense are layered into the expressive finish. The tannins remain a bit rough and polished within the context of the estate’s finest wines. The Merlot is made from a combination of Spring Mountain and Carneros Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”
Wine & Spirits Magazine, December 2012
90 Points “Dark in tone, this is a plump, juicy merlot, its texture enriched by oak. A supple wine with a gamey, green-herb element in the background, this leaves a clean impression at the end. Built for a steak.”