Home > ModGood, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > 2004 Keenan, Merlot at Mrs. K’s Toll House

2004 Keenan, Merlot at Mrs. K’s Toll House


We have been taking our daughter out to lunch ever since we were brave enough to leave the house.  Early on we even tried going out to dinner but when she would not fall asleep at the Outback Steakhouse her fussiness drew stares from other diners.  There were other attempts over the years but they invariably ended up with someone taking her to the car or back to the hotel for a nap.  My daughter has always gone to bed early so it was just an unfair struggle against nature.

Mrs K's Toll House Restaurant

This summer she started handling an early dinner quite well.  If we are seated around 5pm then she can last one hour or even an hour and a half.  So we have been able to eat ribs, seafood, and spaghetti in Ocean City and pizza in Silver Spring.  During my last trip to Seattle my wife took her to an early dinner at a local Italian joint with half-off wine specials.  We have gone a few more times but the wine list is quite short so we have satisfied ourselves with 2007 Rufino, Ducale, Chianti Classico Reserva for $25 or 2009 Rosemount, Merlot for $17.  The restaurants in our area will cork and bag an unfinished bottle.  This truly makes wine more affordable by the bottle than the glass.

Stairs to the Basement Wine Bar

This week we went to the basement wine bar at Mrs. K’s Toll House Restaurant.  Opened in 1930 the restaurant has accumulated a fairly interesting wine list for Montgomery County.  It is a strongly American list with a focus on California.  With its older vintages (and prices to match) you will certainly find bottles not available at other restaurants.  Several years ago they completed the massive project of transforming the basement into a wine bar and dinning area.  It is a casual space where you quickly forget that you are in Silver Spring.  We went because there is a happy hour special of 50% off all bottles under $60.  You are technically required to sit at the bar but as we had already been seated at a table we were allowed to partake.  I settled on the 2004 Keenan, Merlot for the budget price of $27.50 on sale.

2004 Keenan, Merlot, Napa Valley
The fruit is no longer primary with decent weight and gravelly texture.  The wine shows Bordeaux-like with its restraint and structure.  There are flavors of dark cherry, blue fruits, lipstick, and a fair amount of midpalate tannins. ** Now-2014.

A Dining Area

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