1998 Napa Valley Merlot

Current ReleasesKeenan Winery 1998 Merlot Napa Valley

$27 per 750ml bottle

The mild September and October '98 allowed Keenan's Merlot grapes to mature slowly and evenly, and the cooler growing season naturally lightened crop, creating more intensity in the wine. In fact, due to the low yields, production was thirty percent lower than previous years.

As with past vintages of
Keenan Merlot, the wine was produced from a blend of Keenan's mountain grown estate fruit, and fruit harvested from select vineyards within the Napa Valley. The Estate Merlot grapes from Spring Mountain District supply body, structure and density, while the purchased grapes soften the wine and add complexity.

After harvest and fermentation, the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for a full two years. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon were added to the Merlot before bottlinig, and the wine was allowed to age for nine months in the bottle before release.

Keenan's '98 Merlot maintains the full body and rich character for which Keenan Merlots have become known. The finished wine shows concentrated ripe plum and black cherry in the nose, followed by cocoa and roast coffee bean. These nuances are carried across the palate with rich velvety textures, and a toasty vanilla oak finish makes the wine complete.

"Keenan's 1998's include a soft, mocha-infused, berry flavored, harmonious-tasting 1998 Merlot. The wine has low acidity, good balance, and a tasty up-front, plush style. Drink it over the next 6-7 years."

--Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

"Midnight black, then blue comes through in scents of mulberries and blueberries, all perfumed by oak and hard as a brick of fruit. Scents of black tea and rosehip spice cut through the thickness of all that fruit, hinting at what flavors may develop with a few years in the cellar."

--Wine and Spirits Magazine, December 2001



Orange County Fair
Gold Medal

Jerry Mead's International Wine Competition

Silver Medal

Wine & Spirits Magazine
90 Points

The Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
87 Points



Total Acidity:

0.62 grams/100mL



Residual Sugar:


Bottling Date:

December 13, 2000


3% Cabernet Sauvignon
6% Cabernet Franc


2100 cases

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