Path to Upper Bowl
Each year wine writer Robert Parker tastes Keenan’s most recently bottled vintage and publishes a list of tasting notes and scores. But did you know that Mr. Parker now devotes part of his spring issue of the Wine Advocate to reviewing California wines 10 years old?
Wines change as they age, some wines improve in quality and some wines decline, so the notion of a second round of reviews has a lot of merit. Keenan wines have a track record for aging slowly and gracefully, hence when we discovered a few years ago that The Wine Advocate was adding a section to include a ten year revisit, we were very excited! Not only is it interesting to read the Wine Advocate tasting notes, but it encourages us to taste an entire vintage of maturing Keenan wines. Generally we are evaluating and blending young wines, so the revisit issue serves as a reminder to check out how wines from ten years earlier are behaving.
As in years past once the samples were submitted to the Wine Advocate we sat down at the big table in the tasting room and enjoyed the wines ourselves. What a line up! The 2004 Napa Valley Merlot showed concentrated dark fruit and spice. The 2004 Mailbox Merlot took things a step further with mouth coating richness, ripe cherry, cocoa and spice. The ’04 Cabernets (Reserve and Napa Valley) had tannins that were in perfect balance with weight and structure, while complex aromatics kept developing and changing as the wines opened up. ’04 Cabernet Franc was silky with a perfect combination of ripe fruit, floral and earthy nuances. ’04 Mernet was a stunner, simply delicious.
Apparently Robert Parker enjoyed the wines too: “…Keenan Winery has been at the top of its game for a number of years, so I was not surprised to see how strongly their 2004s were performing at age ten.” Three of our 2004s have been added to the Press Release section of this newsletter, and a limited number of all our 2004s are still available for purchase.