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“Who else does this? Nobody. It’s bad-ass. There’s no other word for it.”

– Michael Keenan

Secret Wine, Secret Club, Secret Handshake

Okay, there’s no secret handshake. There is, though, a Keenan Winery Secret Club and a number of secret Keenan wines. If you’re reading this, you are one of the select few who have been invited here to learn about these extremely rare Keenan creations. Each of the wines has its own story, as does the club itself. In the adjoining videos and the Newsletter excerpt below, Keenan Winery President, Michael Keenan, tells you about Secret Wine and the Secret Club.

This club ships members two bottles from the secret portfolio, every year, just before Valentine’s Day. There’s no cost to join and you will be billed for the two bottles just before they are sent.

2012 Side by Side
Napa Valley
Spring Mtn. Dist.

$135.

Side by Side is an equal blend of estate Cabernet Franc and Merlot that literally comes from vine rows that are growing side by side. This is the only vineyard block on the estate where there is no dividing road between two varietals. One can imagine the root tips almost touching beneath the surface of this high elevation steeply sloped rocky vineyard. Maybe that is why they have blended so seamlessly to create this unique Spring Mountain blend that exhibits not only the power of the mountain but the elegance as well.

PS: The Food and Beverage Manager of the Oakmount Country Club*, Brad Ladik, enjoyed this wine so much he wrote a song called Side By Side. Listen now!

2006 Tribute Cabernet
Sauvignon Napa Valley
Spring Mtn. Dist.

$125.

Tribute and Encore are the same…but different. Tribute was made in honor of Michael’s father and Keenan Winery founder, Robert Keenan, who passed away in 2006, just before the first vintage of Tribute was created. Tribute celebrates Robert Keenan’s vision of shaping a Left Bank style winery with first growth (the best) quality wines.  2006 was the ninth leaf of the big vineyards used for this wine. Tribute is a 50/50 blend of the two Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon clones grown in that vineyard. Prior to 2006 this wine could not have come out so delicious, because the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the big vineyard were too rustic and tannic to be used on their own. In the year of the first Tribute vintage, the 337 Clone had a dramatic personality change, into something really pretty, with a deep cherry profile and smooth tannins. This wine is a great way to make a tribute to Robert Keenan.

Tribute is rare!
Only 2 bottles/customer.
Order by calling please.

2007 Encore Cabernet
Sauvignon Napa Valley
Spring Mtn. Dist.

$125.

Once you’ve read about Tribute, you’ll know half of Encore’s story. Encore is equally as marvelous and yet entirely unique. It is made from the exact same terroir, vineyard and clones. However, seasonal differences (i.e.: 2006 was the hottest year on record at that time and 2007 might have been the mildest) revealed how different wine–made from the same grape vines–can be. After ten years of aging, the unifying factor of terroir clearly show.   Encore and Tribute wines now present quite similarly. Comparing the two is an excellent way to see how vintage is a strong marker in young wines, but terroir is the strong personality driver in older wines. Typically Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with a little Cabernet Franc or Merlot to round it out. After 2006, we were delighted to find this 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from two of our Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon clones, tasted exquisite. Encore (and Tribute) are 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon and truly remarkable.

2014 Nod to History
Napa Valley
Spring Mtn. Dist.

$68.

Nod to History, is a reference to the Conradi Family that built our winery in 1904 and who primarily grew Zinfandel. The blend literally came to Michael in a dream and is my version of a bridge from our past to our present and future. This is our second bottling of a reserve Zinfandel. It is comprised of a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc with a splash of Carignane and Alicante Bouschet. The resulting win is a Zinfandel with a super structure, added weight to the palette, more layered aromatics and a very long finish while clearly retaining its identity as Zinfandel. Enjoy now or decades from now.

2014 The Original
Napa Valley
Spring Mtn. Dist.

$84.

The Original This single vineyard Merlot comes from the bottom of the Big K vineyard, where the original (we thought at the time one and only) 1997 Mailbox Merlot came from. This block abuts the mouth of the driveway where the “real” mailboxes are. That Merlot, as well as the entire 20-acre block, was pulled after the ’97 harvest (due to phylloxera) and replanted to 5 new clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. After ten years of feedback from the new Cabernet clones we decided to graft the See clone, which was planted where the original Mailbox Merlot was, back to Merlot in the spring of 2011. This grafted block shows me the same deliciousness that caught my attention in ’97 so we made 50 cases of it, called it the “Original” and kept it a secret!

JOIN
THE KEENAN
SECRET WINE CLUB

The Secret Club is like no other.

Members receive:

  • 2 bottles of Secret Wine shipped yearly in February (all red)
  • Exclusive access to our Secret Wines for purchase
  • 20% off all wines and merchandise
  • 4 free passes to the Open House
  • Complimentary tastings for up to 4 guests
  •  A Private Barrel Tasting for up to 6 guests when you join two or more clubs
  • A Barrel Tasting AND Summer Open House passes for 6 when you join three or more clubs

“In August of 2006 I came up with a new wine (I literally dreamed it up) for the Premiere Auction, which takes place in Napa every February. Then a month later thought I had a brilliant outside the box idea to promote it. Every October I’d meet with a very famous wine critic who would review the vintage we had just bottled and two barrel samples of the vintage still in barrel. His review would come out at Christmas, in time to generate some buzz for the February auction. Well for the first time this wonderfully talented assessor of wines’ true virtues didn’t rate our barrel sample, great plan shot down. Nonetheless at the Auction that year the wine, on its’ own merits, generated a great buzz throughout the room and we ended up getting a record price and made some great new friends from Arkansas. Coming home after the auction I then had the idea to make this wine as a ‘secret’ wine. A wine that would be at the top of our Bordeaux portfolio but would never be rated by any wine critic and never be shown in public. If a restaurant bought it they couldn’t print it on their list and if a retailer bought it they couldn’t put it on their shelves or advertise it on their website or anywhere in public. It would be a total back room ‘secret’ wine! I remember the first time I told Reilly, our son, about the ‘secret’ wine, he thought I had lost my mind. He’s slowly coming around on that topic. Now there are 5 wines in the ‘secret’ portfolio and it’s time to start the ‘secret’ club! These are all small production wines ranging from 100 cases to as low as 50 for the latest edition, a single vineyard Merlot from the 2013 vintage, which btw, is the greatest Merlot vintage I have ever seen. Some of the wines are from the ’06 and ’07 vintages, so we are able to age these even more than our current releases.Some of these wines are one of a kind, meaning I will not ever make them again.”     – Michael Keenan

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