Monday, October 9, 2017

Robert Craig Affinity 2004

Robert Craig Affinity 2004

For a grilled tenderloin steak dinner with baked potato we pulled from the cellar this Robert Craig

Picnic lunch tasting with Robert at the Howell Mtn estate.

Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Cellartracker records indicate we hold eighteen vintages of this wine so this is a wine we know well. We may hold more Robert Craig in our cellar than any other producer. We've had many fond memories of tasting dinners and special events with Robert and Lynn Craig, and their staff at events at the estate high atop Howell Mountain.

Notes indicate the last tasting of this vintage was four years ago when it was a decade old. Three years later, this is showing its age a bit as the dark berry fruits are starting to give way slightly to non-fruit flavors of tea, olive cedar and spice.

Robert Craig produce a portfolio of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon labels from the different mountain appellations - Howell Mountain, Mt Veeder, Spring Mountain, and this blend that was based on Napa Valley Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals.

When Robert Craig was proprietor producer, he prided himself on crafting quality high QPR (quality price ratio) Cabernet that was affordable and consumable early at a young age. Recently, in the last couple of years, this wine has crept up in price from about $50 the $70-75 range that used to be the province reserved for his single appellation designated labels. The $50 price point has been taken over by the Robert Craig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon label. These labels are still produced in sufficient quantity to be readily available in distribution at many leading wine retailers - nearly 4000 cases were produced of this vintage label.

The is a Bordeaux Blend composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Robert Craig’s Affinity estate vineyard and an adjoining property to the south of the Stag’s Leap district, in the southeastern foothills of Napa Valley. Being at the southern end of Napa Valley with exposure to the breezes and fog off of San Pablo Bay, the area known as Tulocay, produces a Cabernet Sauvignon that is similar to the Bordeaux-region of France. Added to the blend is Cabernet from the warmer hillsides near St. Helena, which contribute structure and complexity.

Dark Ruby colored, medium full bodied, this has a firm structure ripe black berry, black cherry and black currant fruits with black tea, spice with notes of black olive, cedar and hints of tar and anise on a tight lingering finish.

RM 89 points.

Blend 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot