Keenan Merlot Napa Valley
The steady, high temperatures of the Keenan estate, on Spring Mountain above the Napa Valley floor, allowed harvest at peak maturity of the grapes. The grapes for Keenan Merlot are harvested primarily from the Keenan Estate on Spring Mountain. It is these grapes that supply the Keenan Merlot with its rich flavor and intense bouquet. The remainder of the Merlot grapes are harvested from select vineyards on the floor of the Napa Valley. The vineyards’ grapes are hand selected to add complexity, and to soften the powerful Keenan Estate fruit.
The Keenan Merlot is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. Final blending is con- ducted before bottling, and seven to eight months of bottle aging is allowed before
Keenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Fifteen acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.
Keenan Merlot is generally composed of approximately sixty-five percent Keenan Estate Merlot with the remainder of the fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. After hand harvesting, the grapes are de-stemmed, then inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranges from eight to twelve days before pressing. Keenan Merlot is typically 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.
Wine Data for a typical vintage, in this case 2015, of Napa Valley Merlot
Total Acidity: 0.61 grams/100 ml
Residual Sugar: Dry
Blend: 100% Merlot
Vineyard Source: 72% Estate Merlot, 28% Napa Carneros
Spring Mountain District
Corral de Tierra 5 Spice Rub
Use this yummy rub on any dark meat before barbecuing.
- 2 Tablespoons Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 Tablespoon coarsely ground salt
- 2 Teaspoons sugar
- 2 Teaspoons freshly ground pepper
If you like a sticky barbecue, blend these up in your food processor, then reduce over low heat in a saucepan on the stove for half an hour. Paint on your meat just a few minutes before taking off the grill.
Sticky-Licky BBQ Sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons ginger
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoon molasses
- 2 Teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
Serve with Keenan Merlot Napa Valley. Yum.