Saturday, November 5, 2016

Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

For quiet Saturday night dinner at home to watch the Netflix series release of 'The Crown' and dine with Linda's delicious lasagna dinner, I chose this Robert Craig Affinity 2006 from the cellar. Our Cellartracker records show we hold  more than eight cases of this label from no less than eighteen vintages dating back to the inaugural release in 1993. I picked this vintage almost at random but went with it as a tasting at a decade of age, in its tenth year.

The author, Rick, Linda and
Robert Craig at '09 Harvest Party
These pages are filled with numerous postings and reminiscences of dinners, tastings, release parties (shown left) and other events with Robert Craig and Lynn Craig, Rachel, and other members of the staff there. I remember how Robert used to wax eloquent about producing several Napa Valley Cabernet labels from "three mountains and a valley", this being the Cabernet blend of Napa Valley, and Cabs from Mt Veeder, Howell Mountain, and in later years Spring Mountain, and even Mt George fruit. I've heard Robert say his favorite was Mt Veeder, while my favorite was often Howell Mtn, until the Spring Mountain was released in '07, which became my favorite.

Robert used to speak with pride about how he worked at holding the price point of this label to deliver high value (QPR - Quality Price Ratio). This is poignant today as the new management and this year's release of this label has escalated in price by almost 40% with this price point (~$45-48) being replaced by a Napa Valley Cabernet label. I haven't brought myself to acquire and sample the new current release labels, but I will eventually.

This is Craig's Bordeaux blend with 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.

Tonight this more than met and in fact, exceeded my expectations for this vintage label.

Robert Parker gave this 92 points and said of Craig's 2006 release: "The 2006 Affinity is a steal for a high-quality Napa Cabernet-based wine... This is the best group of wines I have ever tasted from Robert Craig Winery. Not only is there not a single disappointment in this portfolio, but these are all noteworthy wines, with thrilling levels of quality. Moreover, they are moderately priced for Napa Valley as well as ageworthy. I think these are the finest wines that I have ever tasted from Robert Craig Cellars." Thankfully, we loaded up on this release.

Full bodied, polished and finely integrated symphony of flavors and supple tannins with full legs or curtains around the glass - deep purple colour, full bodied, full forward aromas and flavours of black berry fruits and bacon fat, tones of currant, tea, espresso and hints of subtle dark chocolate with tangy cinnamon spice and lingering cedar on the long tongue puckering finish.

With more than a dozen bottles in the cellar of this release, I look forward to taste and watch this vintage age gracefully over the decade (s) to come.

RM 92 points.