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Robert Craig Cellars Affinity 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • WS91
  • W&S91
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

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

Heady perfume of ripe black cherry and currant, with black tea, spice and violet notes. Bright and abundant dark fruit 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 2004 vintage Affinity is a Cabernet-driven Bordeaux blend that showcases the power and richness of Napa Valley hillside fruit backed by an underlying band of round, ripe tannins. Luscious fruit flavors of great depth and purity are hallmarks of Affinity along with integrated tannin structure for long-term aging.

"When ready to blend, we assess the relative strengths and merits of every wine, tasting through barrel samples. The aroma, flavor and texture profile of each wine lot has been influenced by the distinctive soil and weather characteristics of the source vineyard, the dictates of the growing season, and our winemaking regimen. After lengthy discussion and evaluation, we prepare the trial blends. In orchestrating these blends, we not only focuses on the quality and character of each wine, but also its "affinity" with the other blending components. This process is more intuitive than scientific. The ideal balance of flavors, aromas, textures, and concentration gradually emerges to create the master blend for that vintage."

"Consistent excellence from year to year is our ultimate goal for Affinity. The wine is known for its juicy, fruit-forward aromas and flavors, elegance in balance and structure, a silky texture, and approachable tannins."
-Chad Alexander, Winemaker

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Robert Craig Cellars

Robert Craig Cellars

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Robert Craig Cellars, , California
Robert Craig Cellars
Robert Craig Winery showcases four Cabernet Sauvignons produced from Napa Valley mountain and hillside vineyards, including Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate vineyard, Affinity, a classic Bordeaux-style Cabernet, and powerhouse Cabernets from Mount Veeder and Spring Mountain. Each wine conveys a unique personality derived from the soils, climate and varietal characteristics of the growing region. Robert Craig has been a pioneer in mountain vineyard development for over 30 years. During the 1980s, he directed vineyard and winery development on Mount Veeder. Robert Craig wines debuted in 1992. The winery facility is located at 2300 feet atop Howell Mountain, with a Tasting Salon in Downtown Napa.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

DWDROBCRAIGAFF_2004 Item# 90973

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