Wine Advocate

Robert M. Parker Jr.

DECEMBER 26, 2006 / Issue 168

"Michael Keenan has been pushing the quality of these offerings to exciting levels over the last several vintages, and this Spring Mountain winery is poised to garner more and more accolades from consumers for their impeccably made wines. The non-malolactic 2005 Chardonnay was aged in both new wood and stainless steel. It offers fresh citrus, pear, and lanolin-like characteristics along with attractive minerality, crispness, and a lively personality. Consume it over the next 1-3 years."

"… despite (the 2004’s) recent bottling, they were showing incredibly well. As a general rule they display surprising definition in this flamboyant, opulent, fruit –flavored vintage. The 2004 Merlot (which includes 3% Cabernet Franc) is a dense, rich, concentrated effort boasting a dark ruby/purple color along with plenty of black cherry and currant fruit intermixed with espresso roast and earth notes. Its moderate tannin is sweet and well-integrated. Drink it over the next decade. Classic aromas of cedar, black currants, licorice, graphite, and spicy oak emerge from the full-bodied, powerful, opulent, opaque purple-colored 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. This concentrated, rich, impressively-endowed Cabernet is a steal for the price. Moreover, it should drink well for 15 or more years. A limited production cuvee, the 2004 Cabernet Franc, from the Spring Mountain estate vineyard, exhibits a lovely floral, blueberry, and raspberry-scented perfume, medium body, superb intensity, and a light, ethereal character. It is an uplifted, beautiful effort that shows what Cabernet Franc can achieve in the hands of a conscientious grower and superb winemaking. Drink it over the next decade. The 2004 Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard is a more concentrated and backward wine than the regular bottling. Ultimately, it should merit several more points given its complex mocha, espresso roast, chocolate, black cherry, and berry-scented bouquet. Opulent, thick, juicy, and medium to full-bodied with supple tannins as well as superb length, it should drink well for 10-15 years. The profound 2004 Mernet Reserve is a 297-case blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This stunning offering demonstrates just how far Keenan has come over the last several years with their Bordeaux proprietary blend. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by an extraordinary perfume of black fruits, blueberries, licorice, sweet leather, chocolate truffles, and espresso roast. Full-bodied, opulent, and dense, it is already approachable, but should evolve for 15-20 years. A beautiful wine, the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve boasts classic creme de cassis, cedar, tobacco leaf, spice box, and pain grille aromas and flavors. This impeccably made, full-bodied, super-concentrated Cabernet reveals good delineation and freshness as well as surprising definition and elegance for a wine of such power and intensity. If you haven’t discovered the wines of Robert Keenan, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon as quality appears to go from strength to strength.
Enjoy it for 15+ years.