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Keenan Cabernet Franc 2013

  • RP94
  • WW92
750ML / 14.4% ABV
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750ML / 14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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. Enjoy now or decades from now.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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 B intense, but elegant. This should last for at least another decade.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Michael Keenan, with a gleam in his eye, pointed me in the direction of his newly-released 2013 Keenan Cabernet Franc. I was just starting to taste his wines at this recent trade tasting. I went through the lineup one by one, and when I finally arrived at this wine, I discovered something incredibly delicious. This wine is indeed a cut above all others. Showing bold, ripe fruit, savory herbs and excellent freshness, I could understand Michael's excitement and desire to get my attention. Drinks well now. (Tasted: August 22, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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Keenan

Keenan

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Keenan, California
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High in the Mayacamas Range, at an elevation of 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley floor, are Spring Mountain and the Robert Keenan Winery and vineyards. This area was first identified as prime vineyard land by Peter Conradi in the late 19th century when he planted 100 acres of terraced vineyard in Zinfandel and Syrah grapes. The Conradi Winery operated until Prohibition when the vineyards and winery fell out of use. In 1974, Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres of forest on the defunct Conradi Winery site. No vines remained. Only the crumbling walls of the former winery and a few old broken tanks told of its history, but Robert was certain the mountain top vineyards would be perfect for an estate winery. He replaced tree stumps and rocks with rows of Cabernet and Chardonnay, hired an engineer to redesign the original winery structure, and brought in a contractor to begin construction. The winery was made operational just in time for the harvest of 1977. From that time on, Keenan has earned a great reputation for producing wines of intense character and renowned acclaim.

While the beauty and history of the land are appealing, it is the richness of the soils that makes the hillside perfect for an estate winery. These soils are, in great measure, responsible for the dramatic intensity of the fruit associated with the ultra-premium wines produced at Robert Keenan Winery.

Keenan completed a solar power system on their property that went on-line in 2007. The system supplies all of the estate’s energy needs, including the winery, administrative offices, visitor hospitality area, and the homes located on the property. The Napa Valley Vintners have recognized Keenan as a “green” winery, which they proudly announce on the back labels: Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed.

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Spring Mountain District

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Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

During the growing season, late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

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Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, interestingly, Cabernet Franc most likely originated from the Basque region of France sometime during the middle 1600’s. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine producing world, with some of its most classic examples from France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil and Saumur-Champigny. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc performs quite well in parts of California, New York and Virginia. It is also a great blending grape.

In the Glass

Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secret

One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.

STC375035_2013 Item# 161839