Sunday, November 09, 2008

AN Affinity for Affinity


Tonight's tasting spanned two vintages of Robert Craig Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity. Affinity is a classically styled Napa Cabernet (it did not carry the Cabernet designation before 2003) that is sourced from vineyards in the Stag's Leap District and near St Helena. The combination of fruit sources adds depth and complexity to this wine.

One of the things that strikes me about Affinity every time I taste it is that the wine shows great intensity of Cabernet fruit (plums, dark berry, tobacco) but with balance and finesse in an easy drinking style - it is almost too easy to drink.

I tasted through the 2003 and 2004 vintages (and I have had the 2005 within the past two weeks, as well).

The 2003 is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot with a total production if about 3300 cases.

The 2004 is just slightly different with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and about 3600 cases produced.

The difference I found between these two wines is that the 2004 is (predictably) a bit tighter and has a bit darker fruit component. The 2003 was quite lovely and we polished that bottle off with little problem (I said it was easy to drink!). The 2004 will probably be a better wine for the long-term, but do not discount either of these vintages. The 2005 was even tighter - showed beautiful depth of fruit and a long, youthful finish. Another winner for aging.

All-in-all Affinity is a great wine to consume for those looking for wines that are in the premium category, but drink like ultra-premium wines.

Should retail for about $45-50. Visit www.robertcraigwine.com for more details.

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