2012 Keenan "Reserve" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1262982 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the estate in Spring Mountain Vineyards is the thirty-sixth vintage for the Robert Keenan Winery. This wine has 7% Cabernet Franc added into the blend and 700 cases were produced. A blockbuster wine for sure, with an inky/purple color, sweet crème de cassis, graphite, chocolate a hint of charcoal and burning embers - almost as if it wanted to behave like a Graves from Bordeaux. This is full-bodied, very rich, powerful and still moderately tannic. It’s a baby for sure, but what an impressive one. This wine needs a good 3-4 years of bottle age and should keep well for 25-30 years at the minimum. Keenan has been on a real high-quality roll for a number of years, and they are among my favorite wines in Napa Valley, combining power and complexity. They’ve certainly found their groove, so to speak, in this last 10-15 years. One particular strong point has been their Cabernet Franc. (RP)  (10/2014)

95 points Wine & Spirits

 Michael Keenan believes there are two sides of cabernet, one fruity, one savory and herbal. He works to balance the two in the grapes from his Spring Mountain vineyards, consistently growing one of the greatest Napa Valley cabernets in his Reserve. The 2012 contrasts herbal notes of sage and forest floor with bright fruit that energizes the wine. That plump fruit creates a compelling texture against the stone-hard tannins, matching their austerity with silken grace. In the end, the flavors have the blackness of a well, mossy, stony, cool and deep. Compelling now, this is a wine that will benefit from a decade in the cellar. (700 cases)  (4/2016)

93 points Vinous

 Far from an easygoing wine, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is going to need time to fully blossom. Black cherries, plums, graphite incense and violets start to open with air, but the 2012 is a wine for the patient, as the tannins are huge and imposing. Still, the wine's pedigree is impossible to miss. This vivid, striking Cabernet Sauvignon is built to drink well for several decades. I was deeply impressed with the two Cabernets I tasted from Keenan. These Spring Mountain Cabernets boast tons of distinction and personality, but they also generally need time to soften. (AG)  (10/2014)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine contains 7% estate Cabernet Franc, showing bittersweet elements of dark chocolate, cedar and currant around an extracted core that drinks full-bodied, boldly structured and lush.  (7/2016)

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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
We’ve long touted the Keenan wines as being some of the best wines in Napa, all for comparatively reasonable pricing, and we are incredibly excited to be able to offer the 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from them. From the best barrels of the Estate Cabernet, and a smidgen of Cabernet Franc, which are planted at 1,700 feet elevation perched high upon Spring Mountain, this is one of the great mountain fruit Cabs year in and year out. Big, brooding and inky dark, this wine is not at all shy, with concentrated aromas of sage, anise seed, caramel-like oak and cassis liquor. It has plenty of the tannins that Spring Mountain is so known for, but it also has all of the savory, scrub brush, porcini mushroom and wild berry flavors that are hallmark for the region as well. The power here is unmistakable and really would be a great investment for 15-20 years down the road; at $100, I can certainly think of numerous wines at twice that price that aren’t half of what this wine is, but I digress. I’d cellar this for at least another 3-5 years and drink it young with a dry-aged rib eye, or lay it down for longer and really let this wine shine. To me, Keenan should really be part of the conversation with the greats of high-elevation Napa Cabs like Dunn, Mayacamas, and Togni, and this wine is a perfect example of why.

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
Keenan has always been one of my top, go-to Napa Valley wineries and this wine is the reason why. It's so easy to get duped into buying a $100 Napa Cab, and all you end up with is a soul-less, manipulated wine that tastes very similar to the $30 bottle you had last week and you end up realizing that all your money went towards paying for the winery's ego. You will never get that from a wine produced by Keenan. Quality and purity should be their middle names. Coming from their Spring Mountain estate, the Reserve Cabernet shows dark, brooding blackberry fruit coupled with a strong tannin structure that will resolve with few years in bottle or a few hours of decanting. While it's a very serious style that could age for a few decades, the Reserve Cab is also full of some "sweet" and savory notes of dark chocolate and baking spice that keep this powerhouse light on its feet.

By: Brian Allie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
Wow! This wine is currently very big and bold and will age splendidly over the next 10 years - I would cellar it for at least 5 years before enjoying. Lovely floral nose of violets, sexy dark chocolate and raspberry flavors with a intriguing smokiness. Keenan should be very proud of this one, and we are thrilled to offer it!

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/8/2016 | Send Email
This wine is the perfect example of why I always love Keenan wines. It has splendid structure built for the long haul, but is amazingly approachable now. It shows glossy black and blue fruits with all the intensity you'd expect on Spring Mountain. Blackberries, cassis, plums are married with the herbal and savory notes of mountain detritus. Sweet mocha and cocoa round everything out. Drink now with substantial decanting, or any time over the next two decades. This is why it's been worth waiting for the 2012 Reserve wines to arrive!

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/13/2016 | Send Email
Good old Keenan continues to deliver extreme quality year after year. The '12 Reserve is a structured and classic Napa style with great density and power without crossing that line into the over oaked, overripe, overly alcoholic style that's become so popular! Tons of fresh cola and dense dark fruit. The density is balanced with a wonderful structure built for the cellar. Set it and forget it. This stuff will be magic in 5-10 years.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2016 | Send Email
I thought that the regular Napa cab was great, this is way better. All Spring Mountain fruit and it shows. This has structure, richness and length. Lots of dark berry and dark cherry notes with this intriguing spice note which I will call Spring Mountain spice. There is a lot of wine here, and not for the faint of heart if you drink it when it is young. This will be a classic wine, hold for a decade plus.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.