Napa Fire 2017 Reveals Northern California Communities' Strength

Bouncing Back from the Napa Fire 2017

napa fire 2017 ends to reveal beautiful community still here

The Napa Fire 2017 Has Deeply Affected Us All…

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: WINTER 2017 & 2018

When we finally knew the Napa Fire 2017 was over and we had all made it through safely I thought I would feel a little differently than I did. The terrible stress and constant feelings of anxiety were gone but in no way were they replaced by any feelings of elation or joy. Yes, we all made it through unscathed, all of our possessions still with us, but there was barely a feeling of relief, let alone happiness. So many people had lost so much and so much of our beautiful community will not look the same for a long time. The images from the Napa Fire 2017, looking and smelling like a war zone, were quite harrowing and will never be forgotten.

Since the fire ended I’ve had many conversations with friends discussing what’s really important in our lives and the usual suspects always emerge; loved ones, relationships with friends, my house, my vineyard etc. What I have not mentioned to anyone, probably for fear of looking pretty silly, is two of my favorite possessions are my Maui Jim sunglasses and a cheap black plastic comb that I found in a hotel bathroom about seven years ago.

The Maui Jims Jennifer gave me years ago so they are very special, plus they just fit perfectly, I use them almost everyday, and I think they look pretty good. As for the comb, oddly enough, I had never owned one. Then one day it magically appeared in my hotel bathroom just as I was coming to the blinding realization that I really needed a comb. How special! I use it everyday now, on my head and on my face.

Now since these are both inanimate objects the responsibility for maintaining these relationships falls 100% on me. Theycan’t just get up and walk away. As I get older loosing track of stuff (and thoughts) becomes an ever-increasing challenge so this lends a heightened sense of appreciation for these two possessions. Keeping them means I’m not ‘losing it’.

Imagine my feelings then when I realized I had left my cherished shades in my rental car at the Lehigh Valley airport car return at the end of my first marketing trip after the fire(man was that rental car return badly marked at that little airport!). As I was boarding my flight I felt my coat pocket where I usually keep my glasses and then knew I had left them behind. As quickly as the anger at my blunder began to rise it dissolved in the realization that I could simply just buy a new pair, they would look exactly the same and all would be well.

Jennifer Walker Keenan and Michael Keenan of Keenan Winery

Maybe the fire experience taught me something about what’s really important or how to let go more easily. I don’t know…I’m just damn glad that I still have that ten cent black comb!

Holiday Cheers to Family and Friends,

Michael
President, Keenan Winery

FALL-WINTER 2017-18

The 2017 harvest will go down as the most eventful harvest to date in my book. An extended heat spell in late August and early September coupled with the devastating wild fires that occurred in October won’t fade from memory anytime soon.

Record winter rains and warm summer temperatures encouraged plenty of beautiful grape clusters to develop during the 2017 growing season. By the third week of August we were anticipating an average harvest start date in mid-September but then the heat came. Spring Mountain hit 100 degrees on August 26th and seven out of the following ten days brought daytime highs of 100 plus. The high temps coupled with very low humidity jump started harvest. The Zinfandel in the Point vineyard (our warmest vineyard site) just couldn’t take the heat, so we made the call to pick this block on September 2nd. The Chardonnay vineyards ripened quickly as well, and by September 7th we had finished picking both the Clone 4 and Dijon Chardonnay vines.

Things slowed down a bit in mid-September with temperatures dropping below normal and even had a little precipitation on the 12th and 13th. The mild weather and high humidity put an abrupt halt to grape ripening. After the rush from two weeks previous, we had some time get caught up and prepare for the next round of harvest. Slowly our Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon ripened and by October 5th we had all but wrapped up the estate harvest.

The Napa fire 2017 started on the night of October 8th. Only two vineyard blocks had not been picked and one was scheduled to pick on Monday the 9th. The Monday pick was postponed to the 10th and by the 11th we had finished the 2017 harvest. The fires continued to rage around us, but thankfully the prevailing wind kept fire, smoke and ash blowing away from Spring Mountain.

We’ll never forget this harvest and will always feel so fortunate and thankful that Keenan staff and families were spared the devastation that so many endured. And thanks so much to all of you, our great friends, for your thoughts and support while the fires burned.

Cheers,

Matt Gardner
General Manager, Keenan
Winery

FEATURED RELEASE

2014 Merlot Napa Valley $40/bottle

The 2014 Keenan Merlot is composed of eighty one percent Keenan Estate Merlot. Nineteen percent of the wine is Merlot fruit harvested
from the Napa Carneros region. After hand harvesting, the grapes were destemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from ten to fourteen days. The ‘14 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The resulting wine shows intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. Complex nuances of cocoa and coffee bean emerge as the wine opens up. This is a “big” Merlot that will age for many years to come.

Cheers!

Michael Keenan

2014 MERLOT, NAPA VALLEY
92 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2016

“Keenan’s 2014 Merlot is a very pretty wine that shows the more translucent side of Merlot. Lifted, bright and articulate, the 2014 offers lovely finesse in its red-toned fruit and floral aromatics.”

S U M M E R O P E N H O U S E
SATURDAY, JUNE 16th
11 AM – 3 PM

  • Wine Tasting and Appetizers
  • Current release wines, library wines and secret wines!
  • Taste barrel samples and purchase wine futures
  • Tour our historic cellar and meet the winery staff
  • Enjoy the views from our mountainside winery

Taste current releases as well as library wines, and even sample some of our young wines still aging in oak barrels. Appetizers will be served to compliment our award-winning wines.

DON’T MISS ROBERT KEENAN WINERY’S 2018 Summer Open House, beginning at 11 am on Saturday, June 16.

This event is by invitation only, and is free to Wine Club members, however $40 per adult will be charged for non-Wine Club members. Please RSVP with the number of guests in your party by Monday, June 11.

Please note: we will be capping attendance this year at 300 guests.

RSVP

PRESS RELEASES

2015 CHARDONNAY, SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT
Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #228, 12/2016
91 Points

“Keenan’s 2015 Chardonnay from Spring Mountain displays plenty of minerality, some citrus oil, and hints of tropical fruit and tan- gerine. It is medium to full-bodied, has intense flavors, great acid, and a long, clean, pure finish that lasts a good 30+ seconds. This is a beautiful Chardonnay to drink over the next 4-5 years.”

2014 CABERNET FRANC, SPRING MTN. DIST.
Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #228, 12/2016
91 Points

“Keenan has always done a knock-out job with their Cabernet Franc, and their 2014 Cabernet Franc from their estate vineyards on Spring Mountain (100% of this variety) shows wonderful forest floor, white flowers, and raspberry and blueberry notes that clearly suggest a cool climate wine. Medium to full-bodied, with a beautiful deep ruby/purple color, and terrific purity and texture, this is a beauty to drink now or cellar for another 10-15 years.”

2014 MERLOT, RESERVE, SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT
Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #228, 12/2016
93 Points

“The 2014 Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard has traditionally been one of the top Merlots made in Northern California. Beautiful deep black cherry and blackcurrant fruit with some spice box and earth jump from the glass of this dense ruby/plum colored wine. It is rich, medium to full-bodied, pure, textured and serious. This is a beauty to drink over the next 12-15 years.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2016
94 Points

“The 2014 Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard is plump, juicy and inviting. Dark stone fruit, tobacco and leather are sketched in broad strokes. Pliant and open-knit, the 2014 will drink well pretty much upon release. This, too, is very nicely done. The Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard emerges from estate vineyards on Spring Mountain.”

2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, RESERVE, NAPA VALLEY, SPRING MOUNTAIN DISTRICT
Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #222, 10/2015
95 Points

“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from their Spring Mountain estate has a more saturated purple color, beautiful texture, loads of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit and a touch of spring flowers. This is clearly mountain, cool-climate Cabernet with full body, sweet tannin and impressive purity. This beautiful wine from Robert Keenan can be drunk now or cellared for 20 or more years.”

2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, October 2015
93+ Points

“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep and powerful from the get go, with beams of supporting tannin and acidity that give the wine its sense of proportion. There is plenty of nuance in the dark fruit, along with terrific aromatic complexity… This is another terrific example of the vintage.”

CURRENT RELEASES

2015 Chardonnay Spring Mountain District
$34/bottle

Keenan’s 2015 Chardonnay was hand harvested, de-stemmed, then gently pressed. The juice was fermented and aged primarily in used oak barrels. The wine was left on the lees and the barrels were stirred weekly. No secondary, or malolactic fermentation was carried out, leading to the crisp, citrus character of this wine. The wine was bottled after approximately seven months of aging in the cellar. The finished wine shows citrus, ripe pear and green apple in the nose. Hints of lush white peach are noticed as the wine opens up. The sur-lie aging has added richness and complexity, and a touch of toasty oak returns on the finish. Like all of Keenan’s wines, this Chardonnay is a food worthy wine whose crisp acidity and medium body will accompany a wide variety of cuisine.

2014 Merlot Napa Valley
$42/bottle

The 2014 Keenan Merlot is composed of eighty one percent Keenan Estate Merlot. Nineteen percent of the wine is Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. After hand harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from ten to fourteen days. The ‘14 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The resulting wine shows intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. Complexnuances of cocoa and coffee bean emerge as the wine opens up. This is a “big” Merlot that will age formany years to come.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
$54/bottle

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is composed primarily of grapes grown on Keenan’s Spring Mountain District Estate; the remainder of the fruit was harvested from the Napa Carneros region and Pope Valley, a grape growing region located in the eastern portion of Napa. The blend was assembled just before bottling. The Estate grown Cabernet imparts amazing concentration and remarkable structure, while the portion of Cabernet harvested from Pope Valley adds complex aromas and a balanced mid-palate.

2014 Syrah Napa Valley
$38/bottle

The 2014 Keenan Syrah grapes were grown in the Coombsville and Atlas Peak regions of south eastern Napa. The grapes were picked late in the season, and then whole berry fermented in small half ton boxes. After fermentation the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for seventeen months. The nose of the wine offers aromas of black cherry and blackberry along with underlying floral nuances. The texture is soft, yet the wine maintains wonderful structure. This is a versatile wine that will accompany a wide array of dishes.

Keenan Winery Autumn