2010 Robert Keenan Winery Mernet Reserve Spring Mountain District
Expert Rating
RP 93 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Robert Keenan Winery and Tom Seaver on the cover of the Wine Spectator Parker's 93-Point Keenan Mernet Reserve

The summer of 2010, with the exception of two significant summer heat spikes, was one of the two or three coolest in Napa Valley history. As a result, as we began our cellar-hopping trip up and down Highway 29, we expected to discover a slew of green, underripe Cabernet Sauvignons. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

With yields down 30 to 40 percent from the highs of 2007, and a marvelous Indian summer extending hang-time well into October, nearly every Cabernet we tasted from top cellars was magnificent. The late harvest nursed clusters to exquisite phenolic maturity, even as acids remained firm. As we boarded the flight back to the city, we struggled to come up with another vintage that was so uniformly impressive, particularly as it relates to the combination of forward-fruit concentration and age-worthy backbone.

Still, we worried. With yields down precipitously, and the just-harvested 2011 vintage smaller still, if Parker and the Spectator touted the 2010 vintage, we risked being shut out. We held our breath until December 2012, when the Wine Advocate report hit the web. Then we felt sick to our stomachs.

Parker weighed in exactly as we had. The Wine Advocate vintage report began by calling the 2010 Napa Valley campaign "epic," describing the top reserves as "utterly brilliant, with deep colors, precise fruit, ripe tannins and expressive aromatics." Then last October, Wine Spectator kicked us again in the mid-section.

A grinning Tom Seaver, the Mets Hall of Fame pitcher, turned cover boy. The guy with the blazing fastball and knee-buckling curve held a crystal glass of his 2010 GTS Cabernet Sauvignon. The caption? "2010 California Cabernet: A Classic Vintage for the Cellar." So much for our Napa Valley vintage secret.

With the exception of a couple historic partnerships like this one, we were shut out. Michael Keenan's phenomenal 2010 Mernet Reserve is one of the few that didn't get away.

The 2010 Keenan Mernet Reserve is deep purple/black to the rim, with explosive aromas of black currant, black cherry, sweet spice framed by new-wood cedar. MASSIVE on the attack, packed with crushed blackberry preserves, coffee, black chocolate, laced with kirsch. Like all the great 2010s, the finish is soft and sumptuous, the cool-vintage tannins plush and supple.



Tasting Notes

2010 Robert Keenan Winery Mernet Reserve Spring Mountain District
"The 2010 Mernet Reserve, an equal part blend of Estate Merlot, Carneros Merlot, Estate Cabernet Franc and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, offers up scents of cedarwood, underbrush, forest floor, black currants, sweet kirsch and cola. The complex, evolved aromatics are followed by a medium-bodied wine with beautiful fruit purity, an attractive texture, and a long finish. Consume this superb, complex 2010 over the next 10-15 years."
93 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

 

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