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The Best Napa Wine Vintages of 2013: Keenan's Greatest in 40 Years!

Michael Shares the Sweet Yet Savory Aspects of the Stunning Finale to the 2013s

This is the final wine to be released from our famed “best vintage in 40 years!”.  The 2013 Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve will knock your socks off! The cabernet vineyard is now in full maturity at 16 years old. The result is an awesome ensemble of sweet and savory tones,

Wine Vintages of 2013

characteristic of this vintage and established through 80% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 7 from our “Upper Bowl” estate vineyard, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 15 from our “Big K” estate vineyard and 5% Merlot from our “Mailbox” estate vineyard. The intensity and character of the nose on this wine is deep, penetrating and provocative; the mouth supple; and the complex finish lasts and lasts. We produced under 500 cases, so don't wait to taste it! Get some to enjoy now and set some away for the future because it's disappearing fast!


2013 is the Best Napa Wine Vintage in Over Forty Years at Keenan Winery

Here, we have a seat with Michael Keenan, who goes into detail about the best vintage wines of 2013 at . In a nutshell, or a wine barrel as it were, here is what he tells us:

  • We're about to finish releasing the last three wines from the 2013 Vintage, which, we think, has been in the running for our overall vintage in the winery's history, which is saying a lot. We've now got forty years under our belts, but we're currently in the midst of this five-year run from 2012 to 2016 where the quality is the most consistent high quality that we've ever seen. And we think the best reason for that is the maturity of the vineyards and the maturity of the team.
  • Regarding the vineyards, we're seeing new flavored trades emerge from that are now sixteen and seventeen years old. That's really exciting because we were under the impression of the age of eight, nine, or ten would see all the vineyard really has to show as far as its trade; so, it was fully mature by the time it was ten, at least. And now, we're seeing new things emerge in 2013, 2014 and '16, such as new flavor trades and a different response to stressful conditions. So, it's really exciting to see that depth of maturity.
  • That tells us that we're really on the right track as far as how we're treating the vineyard, that we're certified sustainable; but what that really means is how we're executing our annual cycle of the vineyard means that we're actually putting more back into it than we're taking. And in 2013 in particular, in the Cabernets, there's a combination of softness, which we really try to have in the wines every year but was a little more pronounced that year, and deliciousness from the depth of the fruit is irresistible; and we think the combo that we made when we finished blending this wine two years ago was too good – we simply won't be charging enough for it. So, this is a wine that we highly recommend. You could drink this wine right now, or you could put it in your cellar and keep it for another ten or fifteen years; but overall, it's a wine that we're all extraordinarily proud of.

Growing the 2013: Best Vintage in 40 Years

And here are some interesting details about the growing season of 2010 when the grapes of 2013 were harvested:

  • In some years winegrowers must feel like baseball players in the batting cage swinging at whatever Mother Nature throws their way, and for vintage 2010 in California's renowned Napa Valley this was the case. Rainfall returned after three dry years, pushed bud break, flowering and fruit-set back by at least two weeks at the front end of the growing season, and due to the cloud cover, there was no frost damage in 2010. The summer brought cooler than normal temperatures, where constant vigilance and rigorous canopy management averted mildew or pest problems.
  • The ten-day to two-week lag continued into a later than average veraison. Winegrowers were faced with a two-day heat spike into triple digits for the first time in the season, coinciding with the first day of harvest on the twenty-fourth of August. With canopies thinned to adjust for the cooler season, grapes at various sites experienced some sunburn. The damage was variable site-to-site with many vineyards reporting no sunburned clusters at all.
  • The relatively cool growing season coupled with the unexpected heat spikes in late summer resulted in a late and shortened harvest with lower yields. Vintners were excited about what they were tasting from the vineyards–concentrated flavors that will materialize into elegant, structured wines, almost European in style.
  • Cooler than average temperatures retuned again in early September, but gave way to a welcome, warm and consistent Indian Summer that was just the ticket, bringing good flavor and color development across the board.
  • In the midst of the growing season of 2010, and led by the hard work of Napa County Agriculture Commissioner Dave Whitmer, the potentially crop devastating pest known as the European Grapevine Moth or Lobesia looks to be successfully eradicated in Napa County. Industry winegrowers led by the Napa Valley Vintners, the Napa Valley grape growers and the Napa County Farm Bureau along with residential grapes growers, community leaders and environmental groups joined forces in a highly organized and well-orchestrated effort that employed organic compounds, fruit disposal and mating disruption. This effort hit it out of the park and speaks volumes about the collaborative efforts, innovation and leadership of the Napa Valley wine industry.
  • “Early, even and excellent” are three words being used to describe this year's growing season and the Napa Valley wine grapes that have come from it, reflecting the consistent quality for which this world-famous wine region is known.
  • A warm, dry brought early bud break, helped with canopy vigor and berry size and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set under sunny skies. With the exception of one heat spike in late June or early July, temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening.

So now, we recommend you watch the video and order your favorite varietals from this amazing 2013 vintage!


2013: The Best Keenan Vintage in 40 Years! from Keenan Winery.