Keenan 'Mailbox Vineyard Reserve' Merlot
For the fourteenth consecutive year, the rechristened “Mailbox” vineyard has been chosen as the source for the Reserve Merlot bottling. Hints of violets and a signature earthy spiciness show in the nose, a chocolaty creaminess combines with the rich dark full fruit on the palate, the finish is beautifully layered, deep, elegant and very, very long. Drink now or decades from now.
Consistently one of the top merlots in the Napa Valley, Keenan’s Mailbox Vineyard Reserve captures the enigma of the variety: The wine is succulent and potently concentrated even as it manages to feel light and airy. That impression of light and air may come from the forest-green, forest-floor notes of the mountain-grown fruit, from a northwest-facing vineyard above the fog line. That fruit has a wild-raspberry floral character, and potent tannins that shadow it with dark, savory length. Tight and firmly structured, this is a merlot that will continue to improve with age.
This is equal parts merlot and cabernet sauvignon and has a very attractive array of ripe dark plums, mulberries and blackberries with earth and chocolate notes. The palate is very long, plush and has a clever fusion of power with elegance. As is the way with all Keenan 2017s, the oak is dialed-up high and needs time to settle.