Tantric Spring - Keenan Winery
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Tantric Spring

Keenan Winery’s Newsletter, Spring / Summer 2017

This spring has been one of the most remarkable I have ever seen in California. Not only at the winery and the Bay Area but all over the state. From 35,000 feet looking out my window on a flight returning from the east coast a few weeks ago I could even see the super bloom on the Carrizo Plain.

At the winery right now we have been rain free for over a month after a season that gave us a record 82 inches since October 1st. Previous record for the last 40 years was 75 inches in 2006 when it rained well into late May and caused one of the latest starts to the growing season I have ever seen. Bud break began at a relatively normal time this year and every vineyard looks great right now. It’s actually amazing to see how dry and firm the surface appears right now after being so wet for so long. Despite the appearance of the surface being firm and dry we can tell there is plenty of moisture just below the surface as we are having a ‘second’ cover crop coming up right now with a fairly vigorous dandelion bloom.

The combination of all of this energy in the system, all the water and now the sun, and healthy mature vineyards (most 20 years old or more!) usually leads to a very good end result.

Looks like the forecast is ideal right now with our Open House day in 2 weeks possibly being the warmest day of the season to date. So grab your sun hats and come on up to the winery to the party that kicks off summer, it’s grow time!!


President, Keenan Winery


Have you had the chance to try the Keenan Zinfandel lately? Chances are you haven’t… Our annual production averages around only five hundred cases. Keenan Wine Club members receive one bottle in their fall shipment and whatever inventory remains is made available to our tasting room and website visitors. A few select restaurants and retailers have access to this limited production beauty.

We have two small blocks of Zinfandel vines on the Keenan estate. The small, half acre “K” block was planted in 1998. Another two and a half acres were planted in the “Point” block in 2007. It’s kind of fitting to have Zin planted on the estate: this was one of the varieties planted on the property back in the 1880’s, when the land was settled by an Italian family searching for the right place to make great hillside red wines.

Each block of estate Zinfandel includes a couple rows of Carignan and Alicante Bouschet (Carignan and Alicante make up roughly 3% of the blend). The Zinfandel, Alicante and Carignan are picked on the same day, and then co-fermented (old school field blend style!) before being aged in barrel for seventeen to eighteen months.

The final component to the Keenan Zin is a small amount of Zinfandel fruit we purchase from Peter Nissen’s vineyard in Calistoga. Peter’s fruit adds ripe berry and red fruit nuances.

Resulting wine… delicious Zinfandel with great acidity, and dry, rich, almost Bordeaux-like characteristics. We sometimes joke that our estate Zinfandel tastes more like Cabernet Sauvignon than Zinfandel. Make sure to taste the current release 2013 Zinfandel during your next visit to Keenan, or order soon before it’s sold out!


Matt Gardner
General Manager, Keenan


2013 Merlot Napa Valley $40/bottle

The 2013 Keenan Merlot is composed of eighty percent Twenty 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 ‘13 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.


Michael Keenan

90 Points

Antonio Galloni, October 2015

“Keenan’s 2013 Merlot is powerful, intense and structured, especially for an entry-level offering. Leather, smoke, tobacco and anise are all pushed forward in a savory, complex Merlot that offers plenty of nuance as well as personality. Hints of menthol and sage add further notes of complexity. A serious Merlot, the 2013 has enough depth to drink well for a good handful of years..”

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 2016 Summer Open House, beginning at 11 am on Saturday!

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 Tuesday, June 14th.

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



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.”

Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #222, 10/2015
95 Points

“The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Mernet Reserve is equal parts Merlot and Cabernet 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 bal- anced. 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.”

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.”

Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #222, 12/2015
94 Points

“One of Napa Valley’s most successful Cabernet Francs, Keenan’s 2013 Cabernet Franc, is 100% estate Cabernet Franc from their holdings on Spring Mountain. Beautiful blueberry and raspberry fruit interwoven with spring flowers jumps from the glass of this wonderfully balanced and elegant, yet authoritative wine. It is rich, medium to full- bodied, but at the same time ethereal and finesse-oriented. This is a great example of Cabernet Franc at its best, intense, but elegant. This should last for at least another decade.”

Antonio Galloni, 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.”


2015 Chardonnay Spring Mountain District

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.

2013 Cabernet Franc Spring Mtn. Dist.

This wine was produced exclusively from grapes grown on the Keenan Estate located in Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain District. Our two blocks of Cabernet Franc were harvested on October 2nd and October 4th, 2013. The fruit was hand-picked then, after de-stemming, the must was inoculated with Montrachet yeast and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine aged in French and American oak barrels for twenty months.

“Freakishly good” is how we have come to describe this single vineyard Cabernet Franc from our highest elevation vineyard (approx. 2000′) aptly named the “Upper Bowl”. Cabernet Franc is simply not supposed to be this delicious. The 2013 vintage has some of the most pinpoint laser-like flavors we have ever seen due to a higher than normal natural acid
level at harvest. Enjoy now or decades from now.

2013 Zinfandel Napa Valley

Keenan’s 2013 Zinfandel is made up of grapes grown primarily on Keenan’s Spring Mountain District estate. The Estate Zinfandel imparts structure, ripe black fruit and complex earthy nuances. Zinfandel grown in Calistoga makes up the remainder of the blend and supplies spice and briary red fruit aromas.

The finished wine shows intense black cherry and raspberry fruit in the nose, while hints of black pepper and vanilla add complexity. This is a rich, full-bodied Zinfandel that will accompany a wide array of foods, but we suggest anything barbecued – smoky barbecued flavor is a great match for the Keenan Zin.

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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.

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