Robert Craig’s wines are known for pure site expression. Most Cabernet bottlings are appellation-specific: Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain. The Napa Valley Cabernet is a little different. Half of the fruit is sourced from the winery’s La Londe vineyard, half from exceptional vineyards around the valley. La Londe is located in the foothills of Mount George on the southern end of the Vaca mountain range. The 30-year-old vines, planted in remarkably sparse and rocky soil, are naturally low-yielding. The concentrated fruit produces wines with Robert Craig’s signature intensity and structure.
In 2014, Mother Nature pulled a trifecta: another great vintage in Napa, it easily equalled 2012 and 2013 in terms of quality. The season saw no major heat spikes and minimal threat of rain during harvest. Fruit ripened early – it was harvested at modest sugar levels and excellent acidity, with excellent colour and tannin concentration. The best of all worlds, a classic vintage.
At the winery, handling is gentle and intervention is minimal. Fruit was fermented in small lots by indigenous yeast, matured 18 months in French oak (40% new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The resulting wine is plush and powerful, with espresso, graphite, fresh cherry, nutmeg, and oak on the nose and palate. With the elegance and structure to age for many years, this Cabernet also shows beautifully in its youth thanks in part to the addition of a little Petite Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc, which constitute one quarter of the blend.
While the 2014 has yet to be reviewed, the 2013 received the following:
“Intense aromas of blueberry and blackberry. Hints of minerals. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. A firm and well-formed red with interest.”
92 points, JamesSuckling.com, Jan 2016