About the Wine
Just south of Stag’s Leap, nestled in the Mt. George Foothills on the eastern side of Napa Alley, is Robert Craig’s volcanic, stony-soiled La Londe Vineyard. It’s here where Affinity grows, one of the important Cabernets in the winery’s portfolio, and arguably one of the important Cabernets of Napa, which is saying something considering Napa is the Cabernet capital of the U.S.
Bob Craig bought the winery that now bears his name in 1990, after a long and storied career in wine at The Hess Collection on Mount Veeder in the 1980s. A few years later, he released three Cabernets from the 1993 vintage, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, and Affinity. He still produces those three standard bearing Napa Cabs today.
The 2018 Affinity is the first vintage from head winemaker Jason Price, who rose to the position after many years as associate winemaker at Robert Craig. 2018 was a Napa winemaker's dream, a vintage Decanter says “belongs in an echelon with the finest of the past two decades.”
The combination of Price’s finely honed skills with the wine and the fantastic vintage conditions worked together to shape a wine of exceptional quality from the 100% estate grapes from La Londe Vineyard - a Cabernet with a small percentage of Bordeaux varieties that help the Cabernet unlock and show itself fully. Affinity is one of the single best bargains for collectible, age-worthy Napa Cab.
Aging: 18 months in French oak: 75% new, 40% 2nd year. Unfiltered & unfined.
Tasting Notes: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc & 1% Malbec. The intense dark, almost black color of the wine is matched by intense aromas of cassis, black fruits, graphite, and espresso bean. Nuanced and supple, with integrated tannins that will continue to evolve in this age-worthy wine.
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is a terrific entry-level wine in this range. Intense, savory, and spice notes lend terrific aromatic nuance and vibrancy to play off a core of dark, inky fruit. Deep and dense, but also wonderfully nuanced, the 2018 Affinity has so much to offer. Most of the fruit is from a single site in Coombsville, with small additions from sites in Rutherford and Howell Mountain. This is animpressive showing from Robert Craig. Drinking window 2025-2038." ~93 Points, Vinous.
"A perfumed nose of mulberries, plums, cedar, dried herbs, forest floor, and cigar box. Full body with firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Balanced, structured, and focused. Drink from 2023." ~93 Points, James Suckling.
"I've always loved this wine, and the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is anothersolid vintagefor the estate. Lots of currants, blackberries, smoked herbs, graphite, and charcoal notes emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, with a supple, elegant texture and outstanding length. It's aclassic, impeccably made Cabernet to enjoy any time over the coming 10-15 years." ~91 points, Jeb Dunnuck.
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