My introduction to the 1979 Keenan Cabernet was at a wine tasting in the early Fall of 1980. Of about 25 top California Cabs, tasted blind in three or four flights, this was my "wine of the night." I remember other tasters asking me if I ranked it high for "drinking now? or for drinking in 20 years?" My tastes were different at that time, and my answer was "either."
Even though I loved big tannic wines back in the early 1980s, I still had the good sense to cellar this wine, and the payoff was enormous. The color is remarkably deep and dark--looks like a young wine. The bouquet is gorgeous--blackcurrants and cassis. The oak that was dominant 29 years ago is now well integrated into the personality of the wine. Everything about this wine is powerful but oh so graceful. There are still plenty of tannins but they are ripe and provide support for the lovely, well defined fruit. Beautiful wine.