Friday, June 3, 2016

Robert Craig Napa Mt Veeder Cabernet 1999

Robert Craig Napa Valley Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Robert Craig is known for his portfolio of  Napa Valley Cabernets representing "three mountains and a valley" - from Mt Veeder, Howell Mtn and Spring Mtn, three corners of Napa Valley.

Robert Craig has special affection for Mt Veeder being the place where he started his storied career producing fine wines. We've heard him say more than once that Mt Veeder is his favorite of his various labels. With that backdrop, I considered several Robert Craig labels for an intimate steak and rib dinner before settling on this one. We focused on the Mt Veeder appellation during out Napa Valley Wine Experience - Mt Veeder back in 2011.

These pages of full of reviews of his wines and remembrances of numerous visits to the Howell Mountain Estate, and other locations dating back to the early nineties. We hold more than a dozen vintages of several of his labels - one vertical dates back to his inaugural 1993 vintage, perhaps the most deeply held producer in our cellar.

Upon opening, pop and pouring, the room filled with aromas of bright berry fruit. Initial tastes were a bit funky with musty earthiness overtaking the fruit, but this burned off over the course of a half hour or so to reveal bright expressive black and red berry fruits, slightly tart but full bodied, dark garnet colored with a hint of brownish rust color starting to show on the edges, the most apparent indication of its 17 years of age.

The wine eventually revealed itself similar to our last tasting of this release six years ago, the fruit accented by tones of spice and hints of tobacco, tea, earthy leather and cedar, the lingering slight tartness overtaking the residual mocha sweetness of earlier, turning to moderate tannins on the lingering finish.

RM 90 points. This is a point less than my previous tasting review in 2010.