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Robert Craig’s wines are known for pure site expression. Most Cabernet bottlings are appellation-specific: Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain. Affinity is an estate-grown single vineyard bottling. Craig’s estate vineyard is the La Londe property, in the Mount George foothills just south of Stags Leap District, in the southern end of the Vaca Mountain range. The 30-year-old vines, planted in remarkably sparse and rocky volcanic soil on the benchland, are naturally low-yielding. They bear only 2.8 tonnes of intense fruit per acre.
At the winery, handling is gentle and intervention is minimal. Fruit is fermented in small lots by indigenous yeast, matured 18 months in French oak (60% new, the remainder second use), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The 2016 certainly reveals the pure pedigree of the La Londe vineyard. This is a wine with great depth, richness, and balance: opulent flavours of black raspberry and blackcurrant are introduced by aromas of licorice, incense, and spice box. It’s an alluring glimpse at what’s to come; the wine will unwind a bit over a decade, at least.
“This subtly tarry blend of 80 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, offers a nicely resolved array of blackcurrant aromas and flavours with fine and fresh tannins. Drink or hold.”
93 points, James Suckling, Nov 2018
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity is a gorgeous entry-level offering. Ripe and plummy, with striking up-front fruit, the 2016 has a lot to offer, including tons of immediacy and sheer appeal. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry jam, vanilla and sweet spice add to the wine’s racy, inviting personality. The Affinity is now mostly (85%) estate grown fruit from a site in Coombsville.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2018