March 31, 2011 / Keenan’s killer 97-pointer: Sexy Mernet’s star of the show. “It’s hard to tell what Mike Keenan does best, he hits the heights with everything that comes down off Spring Mountain. His Cabernet Sauvigon is exceptional yet it’s the mountain-high Merlot and Cabernet Franc, his Right Bank stuff, that knocks me over. You too judging by the crowd at the B-21-Keenan dinner this year. I was stunned by the Mailbox Reserve Merlot (92+) and that was the low scorer!
The 2007 Cab Franc won a 94 rating and a spot on the Top 100 list; you rarely see this little grape so high. There’s a reason, when Keenan makes Cab Franc it’s crazy elegant. Somehow his Merlots especially the Mernet Reserve (half Merlot, half Cab), can be even better: 97 points and a “wow wine” in the Wine Advocate. I agree.
To me Keenan is the best master of terroir-driven Merlot and Cabernet this side of St. Emillion. He has great terroir to work with, the rocky, high altitude vineyards of Spring Mountain. Mike treats it right too, without heavy oak or overripe picking; he’s old-school Bordeaux with mountain. That makes traditional Merlot and Cab Franc of classic structure. Hard to find anywhere, and not at our price. You’re gonna want that.