Napa Valley Mernet Reserve: A Proprietary Keenan Red Blend
How it all Started
For a number of years consumers and members of the wine trade have urged Keenan to produce a proprietary red blend… So we did. Blending trials began in June of 2001, with separate lots of 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; it didn’t take long to decide upon the two lots that fit together.The favored Cabernet Sauvignon was produced from grapes grown in Oakville, and shows immense structure, dark inky hues, and complex, robust flavors.The Merlot was grown in the Napa Carneros region and supplies soft velvety texture with concentrated ripe berry nuances in the nose.
This marriage of two varietals is deemed “Mernet” (Mare-nay) by winery president, Michael Keenan.The name stems from the two facets of the blend — Mer(lot) and (Caber)net, with each wine supplying what the other may have lacked.
The finished wine is a beautifully balanced, full-bodied red wine, that will radiate impressive flavors and aromas for many years to come.
Fast forward to 2006.
2006 Mernet Reserve Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District, 30th Anniversary
2006 is our 8th consecutive vintage of “Mernet” (mare-nay) our proprietary marriage of Merlot and Cabernet. Each blend has been half Merlot and half Cabernet but no two wines have had the same vineyard combination. This year the Merlot half is from the “Mailbox Vineyard” and the Cabernet half is equally split between estate Cabernet Sauvignon (clone 15) and estate Cabernet Franc. The resulting wine is a seamless blend of the three varietals with an emphasis on high-toned sweet, delicious rich fruit with an almost hidden depth and structure to allow for indefinite aging. Enjoy now or decades from now.
The reviews give a hint of how awesome this wine is:
Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate, Issue # 180 December 31, 2008
96 Points “An outrageous wine is the 2006 Mernet Reserve, a 350-case blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a Spring Mountain version of the famed Bordeaux St.-Emilion, Cheval Blanc. Sweet, rich aromas of subtle menthol, roasted herbs, black currants, black cherries, licorice and lavender emerge from this fragrant wine. It hits the palate with substantial flavors, but the overall impression is one of grace and elegance. A Super rich, long, gorgeous example of Spring Mountain fruit, this 2006 is intense in flavor, but light on its feet. Enjoy it over the next 20 years”
Move up to the later releases.
2013 Mernet Reserve, Spring Mountain District
2013 is our 15th consecutive vintage of “Mernet” (mare-nay) our proprietary marriage of Merlot and Cabernet. Each blend has been half Merlot and half Cabernet but no two wines have had the same vineyard combinations. The resulting wine is a seamless blend with an emphasis on high-toned sweet delicious rich fruit with an almost hidden depth and structure. Enjoy now or decades from now.
The reviewers continue to be in awe of this yummy proprietary red blend wine.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate, Issue #222 October, 2015
95 Points: “The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Mernet Reserve is equal parts Merlot and Caber- net Sauvignon. The wine has a saturated ruby/purple color, mostly sweet, rich blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with wild mountain flowers in the background. It’s pure and brilliantly hides any new oak. The wine is lush, medium to full bodied, long and well balanced. This is a beauty that should drink well for 15 or more years and is certainly one of the most interesting wines in the Keenan lineup.”
By way of example, data from the 2013 is as follows:
Total Acidity: 0.58 grams/100 ml
Residual Sugar: Dry
Blend: 25% Merlot Estate 50% Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 25% Merlot Napa Carneros
Spring Mountain District
Raspberry Chocolate PAMaCotta
- 1 Pint cream
- 1/2 Cup milk
- 4 OZ dark, semi-sweet chocolate (don’t skimp – get the best)
- 5 Teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons gelatin
- 1 Pint Blackberries and/or Blueberries
Lightly butter 4 martini glasses and set aside.
Rinse your berries and then toss them with sugar and set aside also.
Combine cream, milk, chocolate and sugar over low-heat and whisk until melted and smooth.
Dissolve gelatin in a tablespoon of boiling water, cool and add to the stove mixture.
Pour into glasses and then gently float berries on top of each.
Refrigerate until serving (at least 3-4 hours).
Serve with a mouth-watering and generous serving of Keenan Mernet Napa Valley.