Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Robert Craig Affinity and Beef Bourguignon - A Perfect Pairing

Beef Bourguignon and Robert Craig Affinity for a Delicious Perfect Food and Wine Pairing

Following our dinner the other night featuring Beef Bourguignon and a Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend, we did a repeat with leftovers and another similarly situated wine selection. Tonight we pulled from the cellar a Robert Craig Affinity, his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux Blend. This turned out to a perfect 100 point wine and food pairing.

I've written often that Robert Craig Napa Valley Cabernets are one of the largest holdings in our cellar dating back to the inaugural release vintage back in 1993 and 1994. Affinity is the basic Bordeaux Blend aside several appellation specific Cabernet Sauvignons in the Robert Craig portfolio. I've written how Robert intimated that he was most proud of this label and went to lengths to keep the price affordable so it could used as an entry point introduction to the brand and portfolio.

I could not imagine a wine that would be better suited for tonight's spectacular delicious dinner. This evening we had the beef over buttery cheese mashed potatoes rather than the linguini noodles.

Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux Blend 2005

This is a classic example of the optimal pairing of wine with food accentuates and amplifies the enjoyment of both! We've had at least of dozen vintages of this label over the years and I don't recall any one that I enjoyed more. 

This vintage release is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.

Winemaker Notes - "Expansive ripe black cherry and currant aromas, with spice, black tea and violet notes. Bright and abundant dark fruit flavors and black currant liqueur are intertwined with sweet spice box, licorice and violets. Opulent black cherry drives the lively, long-lived finish. A rich, multi-layered Cabernet that balances power with finesse.'

"The 2005 Affinity marries the power and richness of Napa Valley hillside Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot for a complex, supple and stylish Bordeaux-blend, backed by silky, ripe tannins. Luscious fruit flavors of great depth and purity are hallmarks of Affinity together with integrated tannin structure for long-term aging."

This release was awarded 90 points by Wine Advocate and 89 points by Wine Spectator. Robert Parker called it a "elegant Margaux-like stylish, graceful wine".

Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, well-balanced, full round rich intense flavors of black currant and black cherry fruits with notes of cinnamon spice, sweet cassis, toasty oak, graphite, and hints of cedar. 

RM 93 points.

At eighteen years the fill level was ideal as was the foil, the label was slightly torn, and most importantly, the cork was slightly saturated and a bit soft from some past seepage, but still intact.