Keenan Winery, Napa Valley Merlot Vertical
1996, 1997, 1998
Located in the historic Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley 1700 feet above the valley floor, Keenan is a Bordeaux varietal specialist, 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 added, with an occasional helping of Cabernet Franc as in the 1997.
This exclusive three-pack comes direct from the estate and are in immaculate condition. One bottle of each of Keenan's 1996, 1997, and 1998 vintages await you.
1996 was a warm, concentrated year with a cool harvest and generous yields.
1997 was a benchmark year in Napa, one that saw warmer temperatures and riper, exuberant wines.
1998 was a mild vintage, showing more old world elegance not unlike right-bank Bordeaux.
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.
They were fortunate enough this year to survive relatively unscathed from the horrendous Glass Fire. Portions of their vineyards were charred but remarkably the buildings were undamaged.
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 these incredible vintages. It's not often we come across such a pristine lot of winery-direct library vintages at such an attractive price. Cheers!
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