Twice this week Linda prepared dinners that called for a hearty red wine. Both times I pulled from the cellar Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Monday night she prepared baked pork chops with baked sweet potatoes and asparagus spears. Then, for Sunday dinner she prepared a beef roast with carrots, onions and mashed potatoes.
Robert Craig is one of our favorite Napa Valley producers and represents one of our largest holdings in our cellar. We've held many wine dinners with Robert and Lynn Craig and attended many events at the estate and winery. We visited Robert Craig's site high atop Howell Mountain several times with sister Jan and bro-in-law Bill, and Bill and Beth C. One of our memorable trips featured a picnic lunch at the site overlooking the valley below shown below. It was during that trip that Bill discovered and subsequently sourced Howell Mountain Cabernet, Affinity and Robert Craig Zinfandel which they served at daughter Krista's wedding.
|With Robert Craig at the estate high atop Howell Mtn |
back in 2008.
We hold as many as two decades of Robert Craig vintages dating back to the inaugural vintage release in 1993. This label, Affinity, represents the Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon based blend of Cabernet Sauvignons and other Bordeaux varietals sourced from the various Napa Valley appellations.
|Robert Craig flight of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons|
Robert Craig offers at least five different Cabernet labels from what he used to refer to as 'three mountains and a valley', referring to his appellation designated premium labels from Mt Veeder, Howell Mtn and Spring Mountain. He used to speak fondly of this label and the QPR - quality price ratio, as he strived to hold the price point of this wine to provide excellent value and be a draw to the Robert Craig brand. The appellation designated labels sold for twenty to thirty percent more. I wrote recently about the discontinuation of the Mt Veeder label after two decades of being one of the flagship labels, and was Robert's favorite.
In recent years, as Robert and co-owner wife Lynn retired and stepped down from running the daily business, the new owners have raised the price point of this label from the mid to high forty dollar range to mid to high sixty dollars, splitting the difference in the entry level price and the price point of the higher premium price appellation designated labels.
Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
This week this was more approachable on opening and even appealing in the couple of following days, better than when young. It showed the same profile as earlier, garnet colored, medium full bodied, complex black berry and black currant fruits with slight hint of mocha - nicely balanced and polished with velvety well integrated smooth silky tannins on a nice lingering soft finish.
RM 92 points.
For Sunday dinner, after church, Erin and Johnnie joined us for Sunday dinner and Linda's beef roast. I pulled this 2008 vintage of the Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon to compare with the 2007 we drank earlier in the week.
Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
RM 92 points.
Fellow Cellartracker, brianofthevine sums up this wine well in his tasting note, "At 10 years of age, this is drinking very nicely right now! Blackberry, wild berry, and black cherry fruit up front. Notes of espresso, dark chocolate, licorice, with subtle spice and minerals on the mid-palate. Still has some firm, supple tannins with a nice long finish. The extra age has really done this wine justice."