1998 Napa Valley Chardonnay

Current Releases1997 Napa Valley Chardonnay

$20 per 750ml bottle

The Chardonnay vineyards on our Spring Mountain Estate were replanted in spring of 1995. As a result, we will not harvest significant amounts of Estate Chardonnay again until September 1999. In the interim, Keenan has contracted Chardonnay from select vineyards on the floor of the Napa Valley. Despite these vineyard changes, this wine continues in the Keenan tradition of producing a crisp, classic-style Chardonnay.

The 1998 growing season was relatively cool, and grapes were slow to mature. Although harvested later than normal, the Chardonnay was picked at optimum sugar and flavor levels. After pressing, the juice was chilled and allowed to settle before being placed in French oak barrels. Yeast was added to the juice and a barrel fermentation lasting ten days followed. No secondary, or mallolactic fermentation was carried out, leading to the crisp, citrus character of this wine. As always, the Chardonnay was barrel aged in approximately one-third new oak barrels, and one half of the lot was left on its lees and stirred weekly. The wine was aged for nine months before it was bottled.

The finished wine shows citrus and ripe pear in the nose, with tropical hints of pineapple as the wine opens up. The sur-lie aging has added complexity to the pear and crisp apple flavors, and plenty of oak character on the finish. Like all of Keenan's wines, this is a food-worthy wine whose crisp acidity and medium body accompanies a variety of well-seasoned dishes.



Global Vintage Quarterly
87 points

San Diego International Wine Competition

Bronze Medal



Total Acidity

0.69 grams/100mL



Residual Sugar


Bottling Date

May 18, 1999


850 cases

Awards & Reviews