Sunday, June 21, 2015

Robert Craig 1998 Duo - Paso Robles Syrah, Amador County Zinfandel

Robert Craig 1998 Duo - Paso Robles Syrah, Amador County Zinfandel

Pulled a couple of 1998 Robert Craigs to consume this weekend as they're reaching their last chapter of their drinking window so its time.  We took the Syrah to Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria BYOB. We then took the Zin to the kid's house for Father's Day bar-b-q rib dinner.

Of course Robert Craig is known for his portfolio of Napa Valley Appellation designated Cabernets - Howell Mountain, Mt Veeder, Spring Mtn, Mt George and 'Affinity' his blend that also includes various Napa Valley sources. He also produces a Zinfandel sourced from Howell Mtn. Back in the earlier days, he sourced fruits of other non-Napa sources such as these. We hold more than a dozen vintages of his various Cabs, and every single release since 1993 of his flagship inaugural releases, and a few various bottles of his other selections.

We've visited Robert Craig's Howell Mountain top estate on numerous occasions and host him at a couple of wine producer dinners back in the nineties during our Napa Wine Experience 98 and 99. We may likely own more Craig bottles than any other producer in our extensive cellar. Records show we acquired at the winery and subsequently consumed three vintages of this same Amador County label from vintages near the 1998, and the '97 release of this Syrah.

Robert Craig Amador Country Zinfandel 2001 - Nov 25, 2011

Robert Craig Amador Country Zinfandel 2000 - Nov 27, 2003
Robert Craig Amador County Zinfandel 1997 - Nov 22, 2001
Robert Craig Paso Robles Syrah 1997 - August 2, 2001, May 8, 2001

Interesting how they behaved alike upon opening and over the course of the next hour. Both were a bit funky and flabby initially with a slight black cherry tartness and earthy leather mustiness. Dark garnet colored and medium bodied, the Zin was starting to take on a rust bricking on the edges. Over the course of the next hour each opened to reveal black berry fruits and a similar tone of sweet vanilla mocha with a moderate tannin, acidic finish. Give them an hour, but then consume them in one sitting. We held back part of the Syrah to finish the next evening and the funk started to set in again.

RM 86 points each.

Syrah -

Zinfandel -