Thursday, July 26, 2012

Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Perennial favorite high QPR (quality to price ratio) wine - we own this label going back to the inaugural vintage in 1993. We've featured Robert Craig at numerous tasting events and have visited the Napa town tasting room and the winery atop Howell Mountain for harvest parties and special tastings. See our winery visits at Robert Craig Napa Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008, and Robert Craig Howell Mountain Harvest Party '09, See our Robert Craig featured wine producer dinners during our Napa Wine Experience 1998 and Napa Wine Experience 1999.

While the 1998 vintage of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons was panned at the time and then substantially overshadowed by the blockbuster 1997, we're finding the 1998 to be more fun and interesting to drink these days. The 1997's tend to be more subdued and even closed, the 1998's regularly surprise and exceed expectations, except for those of us who have grown accustomed to this paradox. This was the case again with this 1998 which was brighter, more lively and much more expressive than earlier tastings and than expected. 

Medium to full bodied, dark garnet color, big forward flavors of black cherry, cherry, raspberry and currant with a tinge of alcohol, layer of anise and graphite on a slightly astringent moderate tannin finish. Amazing life left in this fourteen year old from a modest and unappreciated vintage.

RM 90 points. Legacy ratings - RP and WA 91 and WS 87. 

Tasted BYOB with L at Angeli's Italian Restaurant in Naperville, our favorite neighborhood Italian Trattoria.