Parker's 94pt Spring Mountain Poster Child
As we've reported several times over the last three months, the much-awaited release of the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon class of 2009 would be a two-sided tale. In a growing season that much mimicked 2007 until the end of the second week of October, fastidious winegrowers turned out some of the most voluptuous Cabernets of the decade -- ultra-concentrated bottles bracketed by soft, sumptuous tannins.
And those who were less rigorous? They took it on the chin.
On October 12, the rain began to fall. While it came as no surprise -- Weather.com had been predicting the storm for over a week -- overcropped vineyards, or vines that were simply out of balance, were still a week or two from reaching full maturity. In the high ground of late-maturing Spring Mountain, many were obliged to wait out the rain, not picking until early November.
But as to the cream of Spring Mountain (Michael Keenan and Luc Morlet's Vineyard 7 & 8), every bunch was harvested between October 1 and October 7, making for some of the most lusciously concentrated, blackberry-infused bottles ever to come off the mountain.
For the past half-dozen years, Robert Parker has been lavishing praise on Keenan, writing that "some of the finest wines of Napa Valley are emerging from Robert Keenan Winery." From this one-of-a-kind vintage where the greatest wines in the valley (as Parker confirmed) would outdistance the monumental 2007s, Michael just released what many believe to be his greatest "Reserve" of the decade.
Opaque purple in color, loaded with crushed blackberry preserves and sleek creme-de-cassis, Parker's Wine Advocate wouldn't hold back. The glowing 94pt review spoke of "layers of fruit that builds to an effortless, huge finish -- long on texture and pure class," then adding, "This voluptuous, highly expressive Cabernet Sauvignon ... has the pedigree to age gracefully for years. Anticipated maturity 2017-2029."