Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2003

 Keenan Napa Valley Spring Mountain District Merlot 2003

With left over BBQ and pizza, searching for an accompanying red wine, I pulled from the cellar this vintage Napa Merlot for the occasion. At nearly two decades of age, I presumed this was not too old, but not too young for enjoyable sipping. 

This is from Keenan Winery and Vineyards, high up Spring Mountain, above the town of St Helena in the Mayacamas Range, the western wall that forms Napa Valley below. There they farm 50 acres of vineyards with estate grown Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as some Chardonnay and Zinfandel. 

As shown in the rear label, this wine was crafted by Nils Venge as consulting winemaker to Keenan. 

We visited the rustic Keenan Winery estate during our Napa Valley Wine Experience back in 2007, when we tasted and acquired this bottle as part of a mixed case selection including some large format bottles.

I had fun with this label gifting a magnum of one of their special reserve bottlings to a friend of the same name for a special holiday dinner back during that era.

Keenan Napa Valley Spring Mountain District Merlot 2003

At nineteen years, this wine, obtained at the winery near time of release has since then been cellared in our home subterranean cellar. 

As is routinely the case with such bottles, this was starting to show slight signs of diminution from age, the fill level, label, foil,and most importantly, the cork were all in ideal condition, appropriate for the age. 

The cork came out cleanly and easily using ah 'ahso' two pronged cork puller. 

The wine showed a dark blackish inky color with a bright garnet rim, medium full bodied, forward tangy full blackberry and black currant fruits with a predominate layer of smoke, earthy leather and notes of cigar box and hints of creosote, with tongue coating tannins on a lingering finish.

RM 88 points.