Sunday, August 23, 2020

Keith Lorentzen Tribute - Robert Craig Affinity 2011

Keith Lorentzen Tribute -  Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 2011

With much of the family in town gathered in the final hours and passing of dearly beloved father/step-dad Keith, his four daughters, Becky, Heidi, Wendy and Mitzi, joined us at our house from the hospital for processing, reflection, planning and light dinner. I pulled from the cellar a Robert Craig Affinity in reflection of Keith and on the recent passing of Robert (Craig), in tribute to and remembrance of Keith and recently departed Robert. We toasted Keith and Robert, two delightful, generous, highly educated but humble gentlemen.

Dr Keith Lorentzen 1921-2020
The Robert Craig portfolio is one of the largest holdings in our collection with labels across the brand dating back to the inaugural release in 1993.  Many of our Napa Valley trips were highlighted by visits to the Robert Craig estate high atop Howell Mountain, the Napa tasting room, or even the original winery crush facility up on Mt George Atlas Peak in the early days back in 1998.

Cellartracker records show we hold no less than nineteen vintages of this label, in addition to the numerous other Robert Craig sub-appellation select designated Cabernets.

The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is a classic Bordeaux Blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. As I have often written in these pages, Robert took pride in holding the pricepoint of this 'entry level' Cab to premium his portfolio providing good QPR (quality price ratio) as the brand evangelist/ambassador. 

The classic Bordeaux Blend was crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon grown at the Robert Craig estate in the foothills of Mount Geroge in Napa's Vaca Range south of Stag's Leap. The Cabernet is composed of small additions of Petit Verdot for color, Malbec to add weight, Cabernet Franc for structure and Merlot for silky mouthfeel to craft this wine. It was aged for 18 months in new and second-fill French oak, the resulting wine is powerful and ripe.

A quality sipper belaying an 'off' vintage, dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, bright vibrant ripe blackberry and black raspberry fruits, hints of cassis offset the slight herbal and vegetable notes found in so many of the Napa 2011's, only slightly detracting from the Bordeaux Blend.  

RM 89 points.

Visits to Robert Craig Estate -

Harvest Party 2009 -

Howell Mountain Estate Visit - 2008