Keenan Winery, "Mailbox Vineyard" Reserve Merlot 2004
Merlot | Napa Valley
Located in the historic Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley 1700 feet above the valley floor, Keenan is a sustainably farmed, solar-powered winery and one of my personal all-time favorite Merlot specialists in all of California, but calling it a "Bordeaux Blend" is more apt; a hearty dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon is often added, with an occasional helping of Cabernet Franc.
This is their "reserve" bottling of the best "Mailbox" single vineyard, coming to us direct from their cool, dark cellars high on Spring Mountain. The bottle is in excellent condition, with a perfect fill level, and pristine capsule and label. Keenan's wines are known for their epic longevity; this pristine bottling is a stunning look back and a rare chance to taste a premium aged Napa Bordeaux blend.
Michael Keenan's father Robert bought some 180 acres of farmland here on the eastern slope of the Mayacamas range in 1974, some two decades before Spring Mountain was formally recognized as a California AVA. The history of the estate goes back even further, however – this was the site of the historic Peter Conradi estate founded in the 1800s, one of the first to settle on this remote mountain. Conradi built a fully functioning winery in 1904 but fell in decline during Prohibition and ultimately foundered. To honor this legacy Robert Keenan built a stone wall around his vineyards from the original Conradi winery, still standing today.
Nils Venge, an absolute Napa Valley legend, has made the wine since 1994. He's a celebrated winemaker responsible for countless high profile, top scoring wines, including this wonderful bottling. It's not often we come across such a pristine, winery-direct library-wine at such an attractive price. Cheers!
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