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2013 Robert Craig "Affinity" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1245057 94 points James Suckling

 The blueberry and blackberry aromas are prevailing here with a spearmint and fresh herb undertone. Full body, chewy tannins and slightly austere now, but will be even more flavor and beautiful in a year or two. (JS)  (1/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity has an inky purple color that is much more saturated than its two predecessors. This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc aged 18 months in 80% new French oak. This is a richer style of wine with much greater density, power and intensity. Opaque to the rim with more tannin, extract and muscle, this is more of a long-term proposition, so I'd suggest giving it 2-4 years of bottle age, and drinking it over the following 20 years. (RP)  (12/2015)

90 points Vinous

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is succulent and open-knit in personality, with plenty of sweet red cherry, spice, new leather and mint pushed forward. There is a lot to like in the 2013. Best of all, readers won't have to wait too long as the Affinity is already pretty open. (AG)  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

Producer Note: "The 2013 vintage marks our 20th anniversary of producing Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon. It is also our first vintage of Affinity bottled as a 100% estate grown, single vineyard selection from our La Londe Vineyard. Our primary mission at Robert Craig Winery is to produce wines that feature pure site expression. While the soul of Affiinity has always come from La Londe Vineyard, we are now able to capture the essential, focused identity of this extraordinary site. Just south of Stag’s Leap, nestled in the Mt. George Foothills on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, our La Londe estate vineyard has produced exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon for our portfolio since Bob Craig purchased the property back in 1993. As a hillside, cane-pruned site that bears just 2.8 tons per acre, the 30-year-old vines allow a rare display of the volcanic, stony soils in the finished wines. Grapes are small, deeply red flavored, and undeniably racy with a big backbone of acidity. Despite an inherent suppleness, the 2013 Affinity Cabernet will cellar easily for decades to come."

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Price: $64.99
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Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/30/2016 | Send Email
This is my personal favorite from the current Robert Craig releases I have tried so far. I think this is the most approachable now, but will only get better with time and patience. Dark, deep fruit, a solid backbone of structure that provides a long, rich and very solid finish that lasts a good while. This would go great along side a dish that is dead and bloody. A solid wine, from a solid producer and vintage, enjoy!

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2016 | Send Email
A lot of changes have happened at the edges over that last couple of years at Robert Craig, the good news is that the wines are still as good as ever with the release of the 2013 vintage. The most noticeable change is to the packaging this year but there is also a major change with the Affinity this year. The bad news first: the price on this wine has gone up a substantial amount. Why? Because they’ve repositioned this wine now to be all Estate fruit from a single vineyard that they’ve owned since 1993 called La Londe Vineyard. This vineyard, sort of sandwiched between Stags Leap District and Coombsville has come into its own and the winery is fully confident that this, the 20th anniversary of Affinity, is as good as ever.
I’d agree with them wholeheartedly. While the wine is incredibly young and tight, my god this wine was good on the 4th day open, it couldn’t be more packed with Cab based goodness. With heady aromas of lavender, dark roasted coffee beans and cigar box you can tell they spared no expense on their oak regime. But at the same time I was really impressed with just how well all those pieces integrated with one another, lifting each other up rather than fighting each other and mucking up the works. Creamy and round with savory, dusty fruit flavors of black currant and wild blackberry along with licorice and ash the palate is stuffed to the brim. The tannins firm in the back end a bit but that is just the youth of the wine showing and they will be fine in a few years’ time. Affinity has always been one of the great values of Napa and this year it still is but it is taking itself a lot more serious. Now it wants to play with some of the bigger kids on the block and guess what? It’s holding its own.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/14/2016 | Send Email
The Affinity is always a Cab to recommend to someone who wants a big, juicy California Cab that still is complex and not flabby. The new vintage shows off more than just a fancy new look, it shows off how good 2013 was for Napa Valley Cabernet. Big, lush dark fruit are matched by notes of coffee and vanilla. A bit of sweet tobacco and mint with some a fair amount of tannins round the wine out. While it is drinking well now, this would be one that will get better in a couple of years.

Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2016 | Send Email
Don't be fooled by the new package, this is the same old Affinity that we know and love. Ultimately one of the best values in the spectacular vintage, the Affinity shows tons of depth and openness without being a modern fruit bomb. No doubt the wine is big, but the juicy structure and deep, complex aromatics more than make up for the texture intensity. Certainly "classic" California in the best sense of the word. Expect deep dark berry, rich roasted espresso bean, hints of fresh vanilla, dense brambly Cabernet notes and a lifted long finish. Robert Craig always hits the spot when you want Cali, but don't want a sledgehammer directly to the palate.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.