Featured Producer & Wine (s) on Rick's WineSite Journal

Robert Craig Affinity 2006

Producer: Robert Craig Wines
Appellations: Napa Valley, Howell Mountain, Mt Veeder, Spring Mountain, Mt George, Atlas Peak
Featured Wine (s):
 

Cabernet Sauvignon - Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain and Affinity Bordeaux style blend, Syrah, Chardonnay, Zinfandel

Winemaker (s): Robert Craig
Website:

http://robertcraigwine.com

Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 label Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 label Robert Craig Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Label Robert Craig Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2006 label Robert Craig Napa Valley Chardonnay 1996 label
See our complete Robert Craig Wines label library.
Journal entries: Date, Wine, Rating, Price, Comments

Robert spent several years as vineyard manager and general manager of the Hess Collection Winery on Mt. Veeder which he championed to gain its own appellation district in 1990. Robert Craig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon debuted in 1992 joined in 1993 by his now legendary Mt Veeder and Howell Mountain selections. We discovered Robert Craig wine beginning with the 1994 vintage and were honored when Robert, his wife Lynn, and associate winemaker Rudy Z were featured quests at our  Napa Wine Experience 98 and again in 1999. One of our most memorable wine experiences was lunching with Robert and Robin up at the Howell Mtn winery during our Napa Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008. We had the wonderful opportunity to preview the as yet unreleased Spring Mountain cabernet against the Mt Veeder, Howell Mountain and Affinity cabernet blend - a truly remarkable tasting experience. I can't wait to have such an occasion to recreate this from my own cellar! Having roots back in Chicago where he studied at U of C, Robert is a perennial favorite producer and cellar selection. His consistency from year to year and his expanding selections makes him one our favorites - (see review). We were fortunate to get some of his early limited releases when as few as 38 cases were produced (first year Chardonnay) and the inaugural 200 case release of Spring Mountain cab - pick this up if you can find it!. We're all fortunate to have greater access to Robert Craig product as he continues to increase production. Thankfully, and to his credit, we applaud Robert for holding the line on prices. Today his flagship Affinity is a great value in quality Napa Cabernets.  We attended the 2009 Robert Craig Harvest Party. Enjoy.

Complete index of Robert Craig tasting notes on Rick's WineSite Journal.
Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 label March 22, 2010 - Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 - RM 91 - Slight edge and 'hot' streak to this initially ... gives way to full forward tasty black and red berry fruits, red currant and slight spice and hint of chocolate and sweet oak.
Robert Craig Affinity Label 2004 on Rick's Winesite on McNees.org/winesite December 16, 2009 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 - RM 89 - Huge ripe berry fruit aromatics. Dark, full body, ripe berry fruit, accented by tobacco and hint of caramel with firm full tannins on the long finish. 
Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 label  December 09, 2009 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 - RM 88 - Earlier review - Dark purple, black fruit and slight earthy tobacco on the nose, black cherry and blackberry fruit with tea and herbs on the moderate finish. This wine is not quite as polished nor bearing as much fruit as near vintages. The earthy leather is taking over the fruit... need to drink up. Tasted at home with E&J, R&M, & L at home.
Robert Craig Affinity 2000 label  October 22, 2009 - Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity 2000 - #wine http://cellartracker.com/w?...
Robert Craig '09 harvest party 2006 cabernet sauvignon horizontal September 12, 2009 - Robert Craig Harvest Party on Howell Mountain - Napa Valley - Selections from Robert Craig Vineyards and Winery - Horizontal tasting of 2006 Robert Craig cabernet sauvignon - Robert Craig Affinity 2006, Robert Craig Howell Mtn 2006 & 2002, Robert Craig Mt Veeder 2006, Robert Craig Spring Mtn Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from barrel. More to come.
Robert Craig Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 label  July 23, 2009 - Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity 1998 - #wine http://cellartracker.com/w?... RM 90 ; Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2004 - RM 89 - Tasted w/ L, Jan & Bill, Ryan & Michelle, Evelyn & Keith, and cousins, w/ French exchange visitors Phillip & Pierre at Erin & Johnny's.
 Robert Craig Affinity 2006  July 3, 2009 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000; RM 88 - Dark purple, black fruit and slight earthy tobacco on the nose, black cherry and blackberry fruit with tea and herbs on the moderate finish. Slightly tart. This wine is not quite as polished nor bearing as much fruit as near vintages. Tasted w/ L, Mark and Jane at Angeli's Restaurant with Alec serving.
Robert Craig Affinity 2006 May 2, 2009 - Robert Craig Affinity 2006 - RM 92 - Full bodied, polished and finely integrated symphony of flavors and supple tannins- black fruit, currant, a hint of tea, espresso and subtle dark chocolate on the finish. Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot; 5800 cases produced. Tasted at Mark & Gayle's for Game 7 dinner party. Robert Craig was a featured producer at our Napa Wine Experience 1998, 1999, and our Napa Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008.
April 1, 2009 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 - RM 91 - Rich medium full bodied. Fruit filled with black currant, black berry, raspberry, cassis, hint of black pepper and smoke with silky tannins on the finish. (82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc). This wine shows remarkable fruit and staying power. Robert Craig was a featured producer at our Napa Wine Experience 1998, 1999, and our Napa Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008.
July 18, 2008 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 - RM 91 - A perennial favorite wines from a featured winemaker from our Napa Wine Experiences. Nice balance of fruit and pronounced oak - black cherry, black berry, subtle well integrated tannins. Tasted w/ ENA and Kathy - tasty complement to grilled steak at their place. 
Robert Craig Nap Valley Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Label  June 15, 2008 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 (RM 94 WS 94) (WSCS) $59; A tribute to Robert Craig at its best. One of my favorite wines from one of my favorite producers. A great fruit bomb from a spectacular vintage. Rich purple colour. Huge full berry flavor, full rich balanced yet soft on the finish cherry, berry, and spicy chocolate. Previous tastings of this wine were at two spectacular restaurants - T Cooks,Scottsdale and Sullivan's in Naperville. Robert & Lynn Craig and Rudy Z, their associate winemaker were featured winemakers at our Napa Wine Experience 99 and Napa 98, Robert Craig website. Tasted at home w/ L, Alec, Erin & Johnnie for gala Father's Day surf & turf dinner.
 
December 25, 2007 - Snowden Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - RM 88; Snowden Vineyards Lost Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - RM 88; Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 - RM 90 RP 91 - After an hour and a half, started to open up and reveal fruits and true character. Dark purple colour, scents and flavor of earthy, leather, casis, black cherry, licorice, black currant on a long tannin finish. RP review - "The opaque purple-colored 1997 Affinity (primarily Cabernet Sauvignon) possesses exceptional finesse and elegance in addition to authoritative flavors. Highly-extracted, medium to full-bodied, with layers of concentration, it offers notes of lead pencil, well-integrated, subtle, smoky oak, black currants,  plums, licorice, and flowers. 91 Points.". (82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc), Great complement to Christmas surf and turf lobster and tenderloin beef dinner, w. L, Ryan, Erin & Johnny, Evelyn & Keith, & ATM.
 Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Label October 28, 2006 -  Robert Craig Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 -
RM 91, WE91,
Vinfolio 94, W&S 90 - $50 - Full, flavorful, black berry, black currant, and licorice on a long smooth lasting finish.
Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 label Aug 27, 2006 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Blend 2002 - RM 92 - Full forward fruit of blackberry, hints of tar, raspberry, currant, cedar and a whisper of mocha and licorice with a long big finish accented by firm tannins. A perennial favorite, this remains a good value Napa cabernet as Robert has continues to hold price at a reasonable level while maintaining consistent top quality. Great complement to L's fabulous beef tenderloin dinner. Even better accompaniment to the double chocolate cake dessert! This wine should soften a bit and be more approachable with a little age.
May 31, 2006 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 - RM 91 WS91 RP 89 Ripe, complex, smooth and polished wine, rich currant, plum, blackberry, and what WS refers to as "toasty mocha-laced oak and firm yet creamy texture ending with chewy tannins". Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Tasted w/ Eric W. at Flemmings in Tysons Corner.

May 14, 2006 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 - RM 90 Beautiful deep purple color, taking on an earthiness to complement a smooth polished taste of strawberry, pear and berry with a nice balance. Perfect complement to beef tenderloin Mother's day dinner with L, E & Johnnie, G'ma Evelyn and Keith, Alec and Ryan. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mtn, Mt Veeder, and Napa Oakville.
Robert Craig Chardonnay 2000 - by REMC April 9, 2006 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Chardonnay 2000 - RM 88 $27 - Rich full bodied, creamy, buttery and full predominant oak. One a selection of wines selected for gala family surf and turf dinner celebrating ATM's 16th.
Sept 9, 2005 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Affinity 1996 - WS 92 RM 92 $40 Cellar Selection - Consistent notes and rating from earlier review (s). Beautiful deep purple color, delicious smooth polished taste of sweet currant, strawberry pear and sweet apple berry with a nice balance. Perfect complement to beef tenderloin dinner. A Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
May 8, 2005 - Robert Craig Russian River Valley Sonoma Chardonnay 1997 - WS 93 RM 92 $25 - WS Review - Smooth and creamy, with a pretty toasty oak and vanilla-scented edge. The rich core of pear, fig, apple and melon is bright, rich and concentrated, turning enormously complex. Only 215 cases made. (JL); Tasted at home for Mother's Day dinner w/ Evelyn and L, Keith, Erin & Johnie.
Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Label April 30 2005 - Robert Craig Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 - RM 90 $32. Perennial favorite Intense dark firm and full - currant and blackberry fruit - pepper and tar on a long finish.  Purchased at Kahn's in Indianapolis. Tasted w/ L and sis Dr Pat.
Robert Craig Napa Valley Chardonnay 1997 label Nov 25, 2004 - Robert Craig Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay 1997 - WS 93 $25 - WS Review - Smooth and creamy, with a pretty toasty oak and vanilla-scented edge. The rich core of pear, fig, apple and melon is bright, rich and concentrated, turning enormously complex. Drink now through 2002. 215 cases made. (JL)
Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Label
Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 WS 89 RM 90 $40 Tasty supple but slightly austere cherry fruit with hints of currant and subtle plum and mocha on the finish. Central Coast Syrah 2000 RM 88 - Dark colour, berry and spice with a light easy drinking well balanced long finish.  Tasted at special Robert Craig tribute tasting at One North Kitchen and Bar on the  edge of the financial district in Chicago, sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank. It was delightful as always, to see the Craigs, this time on our home turf braving our single digit weather. Welcome to Chicago!  Well done SVB for a tasteful (no pun intended) and successful evening of wine and networking of tech clients and Chicago industry execs. It was great to meet some key contacts and renew previous acquaintances.  Thanks and kudos! See Feature.

Jan 22, 2004 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley 1996 WS 92 RM 92 $40 Cellar Selection Beautiful deep purple color, delicious smooth polished taste of sweet currant, strawberry pear and sweet apple berry with a nice balance. A Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Robert Craig is one of our favorite producers with three fabulous offerings in his flagship Affinity blend and his Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder cabernets.

Nov 27, 2003 - Robert Craig Amador Country Zinfandel 2000 RM 88 $22 Limited release from this producer, . Full ripe berry with a hint of cassis.

Apr 16, 2003 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley 1999 WS88 RM/RC90 $48 Complex currant, black cherry,  cedar and spice flavors, mocha finish turning smooth and polished. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 1996 RM/RC91 WS91 $48 Smooth, focused currant, black cherry, tar and anise lingering on the finish. Tasted w/ RC and Gordon Leigh, Manager, Sommelier @ Capital Grill in Tyson's Corner.

November 22, 2001 - Thanksgiving dinner - what do you server on this special day? 1997 Robert Craig Amador County Zinfandel.

Sept 22, 2001 - 1997 Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet WS Cellar Selection (RM 94 WS 94) (WSCS); 1997 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet (RM 92 WS 92).  A tribute to Robert Craig at its best. A great duel of two fruit bombs from a spectacular vintage. Enjoy these while you can. Huge full berry flavor, full rich balanced yet soft on the finish cherry, berry, and spicy chocolate. The Howell is only slightly behind. They're both on the great winelist at Sullivan's here in Naperville; with Rick C, DRH, and S.

August 2, 2001 - 1997 Robert Craig Paso Robles Syrah; $24 WS 89 RM 90 Rich, tasty, plum and berry, with a hint of oak and cedar and spice on the finish.1997 Robert Craig Chardonnay - $25 WS 93 RM 92 No doubt you dont think on Robert Craig and Chardonnay but perhaps you should If you can find this limited production release (200 cases), its a great bargain. WS says it this way... smooth and creamy, with a pretty toasty oak and vanilla-scented edge. The rich core of pear, fig, apple and melon is bright, rich and concentrated, turning enormously complex. I don't do enough whites be adept at verbalizing the experience. Find this if you can!

May 8, 2001 - Robert Craig 1997 Paso Robles Syrah  $24 (WS 87 RM 92!) This is a new release from Robert.  Only 200 cases are available - its delicious and a good value. Hopefully, production will increase! Cherry, plum & hint of smoke with a smooth mocha finish. What fun! See earlier review & links. In Vegas w/ TR & PP

March 19, 2001 - 1997 Robert Craig Mt Veeder CS (RM 92WS 94) (WSCS); 1997 Rosemount Balmoral Syrah; 1997 BV Tapestry -  (see my earlier reviews below of these - some of my favorite wines.)  - What a trio of great wines from T Cook's WS Award of Excellence wine list! The Craig was over-powered early by the dueling fruit bombs but opened up eventually to reveal full rich tight but soft on the finish cherry, berry, and spicy chocolate.  Tasted w/ TRR, Lloyd M., and Tom L. at T Cooks, Phoenix.

wpe1B.jpg (30547 bytes)

With the Robert Craigs and Reuben Katz (hiding) at CIA.
Napa Wine Experience 19
99.

Robert Craig, Shelly & Linda

Robt Craig Dinner @ CIA.

With Robert Craig at Chai (top), CIA Dinner with Robert Craig and winemaker Rudy Zedema (above).
Napa Wine Experience 1998.

Robt Craig winemaker & AJ

 
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