Thursday, December 7th
Flights of 6 wines for $30
It can be hard to remember that Napa Terroir exists. No, not on the valley floor, where trends are dictated by the cult of Robert Parker, and hordes of tourists clamor around bombastic, over-oaked and over-wrought Cabernet. But on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Range that separates Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley, approximately 30 miles inland from the Pacific and 25 miles north of San Pablo Bay, the Spring Mountain District makes it easy to understand why Napa long ago established itself as one of the great winemaking regions of the world. Marked by craggy, steep slopes surrounded by lush forests, its elevation mitigating the intensity of Napa's heat, Spring Mountain is ideally suited for elegant, age-worthy wines (the kind of wines that the big name commercial producers in the valley claim to make). And for the past 50 years, 3 generations of the Keenan family have championed that mountain terroir with vintage after vintage of some of California's most stunning Cabernet Sauvignon (and beyond).
In 1974 Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres on the steep, rocky, mountainsides of Spring Mountain, with the goal of producing wines of great concentration, structure, and pure varietal flavors. His acreage included the crumbling Peter Conradi Winery, one of the first pioneering properties established on Spring Mountain that had been abandoned during Prohibition. Originally planted to Zinfandel and Syrah, none of the vineyards were producing by the time Keenan purchased the property. Robert cleared the estate of tree stumps and rocks, extended the original vineyard acreage, and replanted the property to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, varietals that - alongside Merlot - would become the pillars of Keenan Winery. Today, Robert's son Michael is at the helm, and alongside his son Reilly, has continued to produced wines of almost unmatched purity, precision, and varietal character (you don't have to just take our word for it: a 1988 blind tasting between Keenan Merlot and the legendary Bordeaux producer Château Pétrus ended in a dead tie between the two).
On Thursday, we'll have Reilly - winemaker, raker of leaves, and the latest Keenan generation in the cellar - behind the bar to pour a lineup of 6 wines, including vertical pours of their iconic Cabernet and Merlot.