What They’re Saying
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Reviews Our 2010 Cabernets
Reviews by Antonio Galloni, Dec. 2012
2010 Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon
“. . .This is an especially dark, brooding wine loaded with character.
The relatively large presence of Petit Verdot is felt in the wine’s baritone fruit and muscular personality . . .without question a highly intriguing wine
. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.” Score: 92
2010 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
“. . .another dark, powerful wine. I
ncense, licorice, smoke, tobacco and scorched earth flow from the glass. There is plenty of Mt. Veeder character in the wine’s flavor profile and structure
. . .chewy, mouthcoating tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030. ” Score: 93+
2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is an effortless and totally gracious wine.
..plenty of underlying structure, power and depth
. The essence of raspberry jam, flowers, mint and sweet spices is layered in the elegant finish.” Score: 93 Points
2009 Affinity ~ Named one of "Napa Valley's best from memorable vintage" in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Wine Section!
The May 20, 2012 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle's Wine & Food Section features the 2009 vintage of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons highlighted by the tasting panel's "cross-section of Napa's best from a memorable vintage." The panel tasted 60 wines in all price ranges and selected 17 to feature including our 2009 Affinity. For the article, go to the SF Chronicle website
2009 Zinfandel ~ Howell Mountain is a WINE & SPIRITS Top Selection!
The April 2012 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine gives our 2009 Zinfandel from Black Sears Vineyard high marks with a score of 95 points. "It's rare for a California wine to smell so distinctly of where it is grown...It has the blackness of coal and caviar, the concentration of tobacco, the floral scent of a rose...the oak enriches the texture and focuses the firm juiciness of the wine. It's powerful but accessible now, suited to ten years of age." Score: 95
2008 Mt. Veeder Cabernet in WINE & SPIRITS Best Cabernet Selections for 2011!
The 2008 Mt. Veeder is rated in the top 35 of this year's best California Cabernets, in between the $225 Shafer Hillside Select and a $95 Nickle & Nickle Oakville vineyard designated Cabernet. Complete listings can be found in the December issue.
Here is the review: "The fresh black cherry flavors of this wine have a cool, foresty tone. They add juiciness to the mineral tannins, mellowing the earthy intensity of the Cabernet grape skins and softening their grip. Air gentles it further, suggesting it will age well for several years, ready along the way for grilled lamb. ~ Score 92" ($70)
Robert Craig in 2012 Food & Wine Guide
The 2012 F&W Wine Guide to the best quality and value in worldwide wines lists 37 Napa Valley producers, including Robert Craig Winery. We're in great company, considering there are over 450 Napa Valley wineries and over 600 different brands! You can order this pocket-size guide click here. Featured Robert Craig wines are the 2009 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay & the 2008 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
Current thru 2002 Vintages
2009 Affinity • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .bursts from the glass with an exciting array of dark red berries,
flowers, licorice and sweet spices. Floral notes reappear on the finish, adding brightness and lift. This gorgeous, mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon should continue to drink beautifully
for at least a handful of years. In 2009 the blend is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 1%Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017." Score: 92
". . .Craig has long been an expert in the Napa hillsides, but there's something notably appealing about this blend
(Petit Verdot and Merlot make cameos) from the foothills around Mount George in southeast Napa. An enthusiastic dose of oak can't mask great dried-herb and graphite complexity, or its robust bramble fruit character. Big and dense, with a plushness
and tea-like herbal side." Top picks of 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, San Francisco Chronicle Wine & Food Section, May 20, 2012.
"Good full ruby-red. Crystallized black cherry, coffee, mocha and loam on the nose, lifted by spices. Broad, smooth and tight-grained, with lovely intensity and lift to the flavors
of black fruits, licorice and dark chocolate. Finishes with dusty tannins and a firm spine of acidity." Score: 91, Stephen Tanzer, Issue 162: May/June 2012
“...one of their best, right up there with the 2007. It’s a beautiful wine,
absolutely dry, tannic, smooth and complex in black currant flavor. A bright streak of acidity provides wonderful balance,
and should help the wine to age through at least 2019.” Score: 93, The Wine Enthusiast, September 2012.
“...This vintage has all of the earmarks of another superb, long-lived Robert Craig Cab
. It's rich and powerful, yet balanced and elegant
. Showing black and red-fruited aromas, a hint of spice and beautifully integrated tannins at this stage -- and it's only going to get better over the next decade." Score: 95, Robert Whitley, WineReviewOnline.com, Aug 28, 2012
2009 Mount Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
. . .a big, broad-shouldered wine loaded with class and personality
. . .Firm tannins provide the backdrop for layers of dark red fruit in this super-expressive, racy Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tar, licorice, menthol, iron and smoke nuances develop in the glass, adding a sense of gravitas. This is a striking, totally beautifuly wine
from Robert Craig. The 2009 Mount Veeder is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029." Score: 96
"Aromas of black raspberry, cassis, licorice, minerals and chocolatey oak. Rich, plush and sweet, with a pliant, three-dimensional texture to the flavors
of black fruits, spices and cocoa powder. Builds impressively and spreads out on the back end
, which features serious but suave tannins and a lingering medicinal quality. Quite supple for young Mount Veeder Cabernet and long on personality. Gained in sweetness with extended time in the recorked bottle, without losing any of its mineral energy..." Score: 94, Stephen Tanzer, Issue 162: May/June 2012
"Intense, focused and vibrant.
with a beam of mineral-laced, dried berry, currant and cedar flavors, this is slow to unfold, but does so gracefully. Long and persistent.
Best from 2013 through 2025. Score: 92 Wine Spectator, Sept. 5, 2012
2009 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .expressive layers of roasted coffee beans, graphite, scorched earth and tar. It is a massive wine, yet shows remrkable balance and harmony from start to finish.
Layers of racy black fruit build towards the muscular, virile finish. Simply put, this is a stunning example of Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain.
The 2009 Howell Mountain is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 7% Merlot and 2% Malbec. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029+." Score: 96
"This hits the jackpot. You taste it and are struck by its incredible richness, but then the balance kicks in, making it all the more impressive. It shows intense mountain flavors of blackberry, currant and dark chocolate, which are set into firm tannins. New oak brings delicious layers of vanilla and buttered toast. So good now, you can hardly keep your hands off…
" Score: 94 The Wine Enthusiast, February 2013
"Aromas of currant, bitter cherry, espresso and crushed rock, lifted by a violet topnote. Suave and smooth on entry, with a vibrant peppery nuance, then seamless in the middle
; less rich and showy than the Mount Veeder bottling--in fact, still quite dry and uncompromising... calls for several years of aging." Score: 93, Stephen Tanzer, Issue 162: May/June 2012
2009 Zinfandel • Howell Mountain, Napa Valley (Black Sears Vineyard)
“It's rare for a California wine to smell so distinctly of where it is grown...It has the blackness of coal and caviar, the resinous concentration of tobacco, the floral scent of a rose...the oak enriches the texture and focuses the firm juiciness of the wine. It's powerful but accessible now, suited to ten years of age
” Score: 95, Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2012
2008 Mount Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder has a dense ruby/purple color and a sweet nose of blueberries, black currants, and spring flowers. It is medium to full-bodied and very juicy, with pure, concentrated fruit, sweet tannin, a hint of graphite and a long finish...it’s a beauty.
” Score: 92, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"Real power and presence and impeccable tone
...Intense and concentrated notes of black currants and plums are woven with cedar and sage and hints of lead pencil and bitter chocolate; a few minutes in the glass bring in touches of mulberry and smoke...a Cabernet that’s superbly proportioned, deep and resonant, with an oak presence that’s insistent without being aggressive. Tannins are sleek and finely-milled, and they permeate, with their infinitesimal sifting, every molecule of ripe and spicy black currants and black raspberry flavors, all chiming with the tracery of whip-lash acidity. Yeah, this is good. Fredric Koeppel, Dec. 2011
"...supple and generous, with ripe plum and black cherry
, mineral and anise notes, yet on the finish the tar- and sage-laced tannins give the flavors traction and depth. Drink now through 2021." Score: 91, Wine Spectator, Aug. 1, 2011
"I continue to be impressed by Napa Valley Cabernets from the 2008 vintage, and this effort from Robert Craig is no exception. With remarkable depth, this Cab from mountain vineyards located in the Mt. Veeder zone of the Napa Valley dazzles on the front of the palate with a bright burst of sweet cassis, followed by layered black-fruit aromas. The oak is well measured, and the fruit is supported by a firm tannin structure that bodes well for those who would cellar this lovely Napa Valley keeper. Score: 94, Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Oct. 18, 2011
2008 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a civilized wine from that high elevation appellation. Plum, anise, pepper, and wild mountain fruits are present in the moderately intense bouquet. In the mouth, this medium-bodied wine displays good fruit, elegance, and a savory quality,
with nothing out of place. Impressively pure and nicely textured.
” Score: 90, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
2007 Affinity • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"The 2007 Affinity exhibits more graphite, but in essence is similarly elegant, with supple tannins (although more velvety than in the 2006), very young, primary black and blue fruit notes, and superb concentration, texture, and length.
This is an exceptionally promising wine
that is still hiding behind a rather primary display of fruit. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it over the next 15 or possibly 20 years." Score: 96
, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"Succeeds not only with dramatically ripe blackberry, currant, chocolate and sweet, smoky cedar flavors, but also with a structure of finely ground tannins and a long, dry, spicy finish." Score: 92 The Wine Enthusiast, July, 2010
2007 Howell Mtn • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .prodigious. There is something here that reminds me of a top-notch La Mission Haut-Brion,
whether it is the subtle charcoal/burning embers character, the blue and black fruits, the hint of espresso roast, the saturated purple color, or the full-bodied, powerful flavors. This is an extraordinary, massively endowed wine
, but with great precision and purity. Forget it for 5 years and drink it over the following 25+." Score: 96
, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"Bold, intense and powerful, yet in a graceful stylistic manner, with a taut mix of loamy earth, dried berry, black licorice, cranberry, dried herb and mineral flavors that coat the palate and retain their focus on a long, lingering aftertaste. Best from 2011 through 2019." Score: 92 The Wine Spectator Insider, September 29, 2010
"Textbook Howell Mountain Cabernet, classic in the volume of its tannins and the intensity of its fruit. Massive and delicious in blackberry, currant, dark chocolate and oak flavors that sink down into the palate and stay there. So good now, it's hard not to drink, but should develop bottle complexity over the next 10 years." Score: 94 The Wine Enthusiast, December 31, 2010
". . .attractive, forward, spicy, cedary. . .black cherry fruit aroma with hints of black pepper, lavender. . .full body; big, rich, dark berry fruit flavors; full tannin. Very highly recommended. California Grapevine, November/December 2010
2007 Spring Mtn • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Remarkably, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain might even eclipse the 2006
– in fact, I think it will. Dense purple to the rim, the wine displays powerful blueberry, blackberry, plum, and truffle notes in the aromas, sensational flavor concentration,
a strong floral underpinning, impressive purity, a multi-dimensional, layered, full-bodied mouthfeel, and a fabulous finish. This is a very exciting wine
that should drink well for 20-25 years." Score: 94+
, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"This is a “wow” wine — approachable and delicious now, but prime for long-term cellaring.
Sleek blackberry, black cherry and black raspberry aromas and flavors are layered with dried herbs, whole spices and spicy oak, with a long, evolving finish supported by substantial tannins. Ready to drink now and over the next 15-20 years." Rich Reds for Holiday Feasting WineSkinny.com, December 23, 2010
"This offers a taut, rich mix of blackberry, red cherry and wild berry flavors
that are firm and full-bodied, spicy and complex, ending with ripe tannins that give the flavors traction." Score: 92 The Wine Spectator, December 15, 2010
2007 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .it didn’t take long to coax some spice box, cedar, cassis, truffle, and chocolate
out of the aromas. In the mouth, the wine is dense, full-bodied
, but again, very tannic, almost atypically so for a 2007. I would forget it for at least 3-4 years and drink it over the following two decades." Score: 93+
, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"Firm, rich and chunky, with dense, mocha-laced currant, wild berry and blackberry flavors that are full-bodied and rustic in texture, with a notable mineral and crushed rock quality, followed by a finish that combines tannic strength with fruit persistence. Drink now through 2022." Score: 94 The Wine Spectator Insider, August 25, 2010
"From an 1800-foot-elevation parcel along the Veeder ridge, this well-defined, no-fat effort shows lots of ripe plum and clean blackberry, a slightly savory wood note and some pretty herbal underbrush. It gets further depth from the 17 percent Merlot. Ample tannins show its potential over the next decade." Top Picks, The San Francisco Chronicle Recommends Napa Valley Cabernet, Jon Bonné, Wine Editor, May 23, 2010
"Elements of black cherries, cassis, sweet oak combine nicely in the nose, and the wine follows suit in the mouth, picking up a noticeable boost in ripeness. . .best mealtime partner will be hearty hunks of well-seasoned beef." Two Puffs, Connoisseurs' Guide, December 2010
"attractive, forward, spicy cassis and blackberry fruit aroma; full body, big, textured. . .cassis and blackberry fruit flavors with overtones of sweet oak." Very highly recommended. The California Grapevine, October/November 2010
2006 Spring Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .a great 2006
. Notes of forest floor, spring flowers, boysenberry, blueberry, cocoa, and crushed rocks are all present in this full-bodied, dense wine, which has beautifully sweet tannins and extraordinary elegance, allied with power.
This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20+ years." Score: 93, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
2006 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .plays it slightly closer to the vest, and at least at this tasting, seemed to be the most backward and tannic of these wines, which surprised me. . .creme de cassis fruit
intermixed with lead pencil shavings and an almost truffle-like note. . .a muscular wine, it needs 3-4 years of bottle age, but should certainly be another 20+-year wine.
" Score: 93,
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
"medium to full-bodied, reserved, and masculine. . .a backward tannic style suggesting that there is plenty of longevity here. . .Wow! This is a concentrated, refined, delicious Red! Score: 92+ Alan Duran's Periodic Review of Wine, March 16, 2010
"Robert Craig's Cabernets from Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder were impressive for their balance and nuance. . .06 Mt. Veeder: Bordeaux-like in its structure and character, with aromas of anise, currant, rose petal, cedar and blackberry. . . Full-bodied, with excellent balance, depth and dimension, ending with tight, ripe tannins. Best from 2010 through 2016." Score: 90 The Wine Spectator, Tasting Highlights: 2006 Napa Cabernet, July 27, 2009
"Ripe and rich, highly aromatic. . .combines sweet cassis notes and a full measure of creamy, slightly tasty oak with hints of dried cherry and sage. . .backs up its boldness with extra layers of tannin." One Puff, Connoisseurs' Guide, August 2009
"Concentrated, full bodied. . .excellent depth and weight. It is powerful and long on the finish, tasting of blackberry, cassis, toast, smoky oak and dark chocolate." Four stars, Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, Issue 131/132
"Full body, big, rich, concentrated. . .cassis and blackberry fruit aromas. . .full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very Highly Recommended." California Grapevine, Aug-Sept 2009
"For the patient, this powerful mountain Cabernet is a good bet over the long haul. Its massive fruit and impressive structure are best suited for cellaring, although with a thick rib-eye it might be possible to enjoy this wine tonight. Loaded with black fruits and complemented by nuances of mocha, lead pencil, spice and woodsmoke, it’s a massive wine that’s ideally suited for special occasions or long-term ageing. Score: 92 Robert Whitley, Aug 18, 200
2006 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .a stunning wine with an opaque purple color and sweet, broad notes of licorice, plum, blueberry, blackberry, and cassis, as well as a hint of crushed rock. The oak is subtle and the wine savory, rich, and full-bodied, with remarkably sweet tannins, especially for a mountain Cabernet in 2006. This wine is approachable, although it promises to evolve for 20 or more years." Score: 93, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
". . .full body, big, rich, concentrated, dark currant and ripe berry fruit flavors with well integrated oak and hints of pepper and vanilla; nicely balanced and structured. Very highly recommended. 1st Place in group tasting. California Grapevine, February-March 2010
'The deeply-rimmed, ruby-purple colored Howell Mountain will prove to have good longevity . . .complete and well built. . .large on the palate with abundant red fruit. . .this is a beauty and should be bought by the case. Maturity period 2011-2022. Score: 90 Alan Duran's Periodic Review of Wine, March 16, 2010
"Robert Craig's Cabernets from Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder were impressive for their balance and nuance. . .06 Howell Mountain: Rich and tannic, with a beam of earthy dried currant, sage and savory berry and herb notes that are firm and concentrated. . .everything is in place. This just needs time to come around. Best from 2010 through 2016." Score: 90 The Wine Spectator, Tasting Highlights: 2006 Napa Cabernet, July 27, 2009
"Easily one of the nicest Napa Valley Cabernets I’ve tasted this year. It shows intense aromas of cassis, blackberry and lavender on the nose, followed on the palate by layers of black cherry, coffee bean and white pepper. Very complex, and elegant despite its powerful structure. Tannins are nicely integrated, too. This wine will age beautifully, but it’s fairly incredible even at this early stage. " Score: 96 Robert Whitley, Aug 18, 2009
"Deep black-garnet hue. Ripe aromas of fruit compote and maraschino cherry. Friendly plum and blueberry fruit with soft tannins that become more aggressive in the finish. Excellent length with pleasant balance between ripe black fruit and drying mineral flavors. Another impressive offering from Robert Craig.
" Score: 93 The Wine News, Oct. 2009
2006 Affinity - Napa Valley Bordeaux-Style Cabernet Blend
"The 2006 Affinity is a steal for a high-quality Napa Cabernet-based wine. . . This wine displays floral, blueberry, and black currant notes intermixed with some subtle oak and a hint of coffee beans. Generous, rich, with beautiful layers of fruit, impressive purity, and admirable elegance combined with power, this is a gorgeous wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15+ years." Score: 92, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Dec. 2010
". . .plenty of personality and terrific quality. . .well made, full-flavored, and abundant on fruit. This is good wine with plenty of tannin. Maturity period 2012-2023." Score: 91 Alan Duran's Periodic Review of Wine, March 16, 2010
"This producer consistently turns out delicious renditions of Cabernet that are at once impressive and user-friendly. The impressive side of this equation is expressed in the form of concentrated fruit and flavors that show admirable depth and persistence. The user-friendly side stems from restrained oak and ripe, fine-grained tannin. The fruit is sweet and ripe but not chunky or obvious, and accent notes of cocoa powder and spices accent the core of black cherry and blackberry fruit." Score: 91 Michael Franz, winereviewonline.com, Apr 21, 2009
"An excellent blend: supple, ripely flavored (cassis, black cherry), full bodied, and very long on the palate. . .layers of oak complexity." Four Stars, Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, Issue 131/132
"With fruit from the Mount George area east of the city of Napa, the winery's Left Bank-style blend, with a bit of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in the mix, outperforms for the price. A clean, pure Cabernet nose: graphite, cassis, hints of dried citrus peel to brighten things. Polished and sleek, with a lingering sweetness to the finish." Top Ten Picks, The San Francisco Chronicle Recommends Napa Valley Cabernet, Jon Bonné, Wine Editor, April 12, 2009
"Opaque black ruby color, cassis, vanilla and cedar aromas with dense and intense black currant flavors and grainy tannins. Bold, balanced elegance." Gold Medal, 2009 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, April 2009
2005 Howell • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Dense, ruby/purple-tinged. . .red and blackberry fruit along with hints of roasted herbs, crushed rocks and spice. . .drink easily for 12-15+ years." Score: 89+ The Wine Adocate, Dec. 31, 2008
"Cellar Selection. . . .Powerful and ripe, with bigtime tannins that require aging. . .shows black cherry and cassis fruit accented with lots of toasty new oak. Should negotiate 10 years with ease." Score: 92 The Wine Enthusiast, December 2008
“These are wonderful successes for this vintage. . . .The Howell Mountain is rich and lean, with supple texture and a tannic richness on the finish. It has very ripe fruit character (blackberry, plum), with overtones of mint, cedar, kola nut, and aniseed.” Four Stars+ Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant News, #125/26.
“The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is now being made by Keith Emerson (Vineyard 29, Emerson Brown). The depth and power in this wine really set it apart.” Score: 94+ Doug Wilder, Vinfolio Issue 202
“Big, intense and bold – everything you might expect from a serious Howell Mountain Cabernet. . .packed with ripe dark fruits, rich and dense on the palate, and finishes with chewy tannins that will age out with time. . .” Score: 93 Robert Whitley, WineReviewOnline.com, Aug 5
2005 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Tannins are the star here, the young, chewy mountain kind. . .When the tannins fall out, the sweet, juicy blackberry and cherry flavors can do their thing. This beautiful Cab will be best 2009-2013." Score: 92 The Wine Enthusiast, December 2008
". . .wonderful successes for this vintage. The Mt. Veeder is supple and full bodied with medium richness, fine balance, and a very long finish, tasting of black currant, black cherry, toast, rose petal and spicy oak." Four Stars+ Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant News, #125/26
From Houston - Pairings: Robert Craig Cabernet, Grilled Steak (and a Hurricane) “. . .after a few hours of hacksawing, dragging and piling a yard full of tree limbs, I gratefully tucked into a neighbor’s mixed grill . .I chose to let the soothing powers of the Robert Craig 2005 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon do their thing. .This wine offers loads of cedar and cigar box accents to the super-concentrated blackberry and plum fruit. Should age beautifully for at least 10 years.” (Weekend Wine Selection) WineSkinny.com, Sept. 15
2006 Zinfandel - Howell Mountain Napa Valley
"All Black Sears fruit. Beautiful nose of warm fig, black pepper, jasmine, sandalwood, salt-dipped anise pod, plum and blackberry. Surprisingly structured for a Zinfandel, the palate shows almost Cabernet like density with sleek, polished blackberry, smooth ground pepper on the finish lasting for sixty seconds. A stunning example of mountain-grown Zinfandel." Score: 96+ Doug Wilder, Vinfolio Issue 192 NAMED A TOP 50 WINE FOR 2008
2005 Affinity - Napa Valley Bordeaux-Style Cabernet Blend
"Well balanced. . .deep ruby/purple hue followed by sweet cassis, toasty oak, graphite, and spice notes. . .an elegant, Margaux-like stylish, graceful wine." Score: 90 The Wine Advocate, Dec. 31, 2008.
"Blackberry fruit aromas; full body; rich, textured. . .black cherry fruit flavors with notes of charred oak; full tannin. . ." Highly recommended. The California Grapevine, February-March 2008
"This winery seems to specialize in turning out Cabernets that achieve impressive concentration and depth of flavor without sacrificing purity of fruit or charging an arm and a leg for the finished product. Notes of blackberry and black cherry intermingle with accents of spicy oak that are, thankfully, subtle enough to keep the fruit in the forefront. Fine-grained tannins lend structure but do not dry the finish, which is pure and pleasant." Score: 89 Michael Franz, Wine Review Online, Feb 19, 2008
". . . one of the best values in Napa Cabernet. Begins with very dark color, a loamy violet ripeness in the nose leading to a beautifully polished mid palate of black fruits, olives and cocoa. To me this is one of those can't miss established wines that gives so much satisfaction." Score: 93 - Doug Wilder, Vinfolio Issue 181
2004 Affinity - Napa Valley Bordeaux-Style Cabernet Blend
"Tight and firmly structured. . .with a chewy mix of tannins and cedary oak. . .spicy currant, herb, tar and black olive notes. . .the fruit pours through on the finish. . .Drink now through 2012." Score: 90 points The Wine Spectator, April 2007
"This is a terrific wine that should make many $100 bottlings of Napa Cabernet hang their corks in shame. Dark and dense and packed with flavor, this is nevertheless not hard or hot or over-ripe, showing as much class as it does power. . .features blackberry and black cherry fruit with interesting accents of dark chocolate and coffee beans. . .finishes pure and long, with ripe, fine-grained tannins that are nicely matched to the weight of the fruit. Great stuff, reasonably priced." Score: 92, WiineReviewOnLine.com, Michael Franz June 26, 2007
". . .full-bodied, well balanced blend, with good depth and a long finish. . .tastes of black currant, toast, spicy oak, mint and plum." Four Stars, Restaurant News, Issue 117
"Spicy, red currant aroma with a note of black tea and touch of mint; full body; rich, textured. . .dark berry fruit flavors. . ." Highly recommended. The California Grapevine, April-May 2007
2004 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Enticing elements of cassis and raspberry-like fruit are seamlessly fit to those of sweet oak, milk chocolate and a scant intimation of cedar from first sniff all the way through to the finish of this very rich and carefully crafted young Cabernet. While in no way wanting in size or scope, the wine is quite well-balanced and its firming, fine-grained tannins are beautifully buffered by fruity substance. There is no question but that a few years in the cellar will make this very good thing even better, and we would not be surprised if it improved for the next ten." Two puffs: 92, Connoisseurs' Guide, August 2007
"All the elements of a cult Cab are there: the soft voluptuousness, the finely ground, sweet tannins, the immensely ripe currant, blackberry and cocoa flavors, the coating of fine, smoky oak." Score: 92 Wine Enthusiast, December 1, 2007
"Excellent; perhaps the best version yet of this wine. . .It is richly flavored, full bodied, and quite complex. . .tastes of blackberry, cedar, smoky oak, pepper, and black licorice. Four+ Stars, Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue 119/120.
"Rich blackberry and black cherry aromas and flavors mingle with tobacco and chocolate, finishing long and spicy. Delicious now and over the next seven or eight years." Richard's Picks, WineSkinny.com, October/November 2007.
2004 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“The first two things you notice are how delicious the flavors are and how gentle the tannins are. Blackberries, cherries, raspberries and mulberries mingle with 80% new oak to provide a thrill of a palate experience. As for those tannins, they're ripe and sweet. . .this wine should do all sorts of interesting things over the next 10 years.” Score: 94 Wine Enthusiast, December 31, 2007
". . .modestly priced for this league and it delivers in spades. It's a big-shouldered wine, with an exotic nose of berries, roasted coffee and leather, followed on the palate by voluptuous cassis and blackberry. Ample tannins call for long-term cellaring, but the tannins are sweet and supple, allowing for immediate gratification if the mood strikes.” Rating: 94 Robert Whitley, winereviewsonline.com, November 2007
"Heady spices and rich toasty notes lace concentrated blackberry and currant fruit, picking up complex mineral and roasted herbal accents on the silky finish. Delicious now and over the next seven or eight years." Richard's Picks, WineSkinny.com, October/November 2007.
2004 Central Coast Syrah
"Lovely balance of aromatic blueberry and concentrated currant, smoky black pepper and exotic spices, a touch of cedar and creamy mocha on the long, smooth finish. Ready to drink now or over the next 3 or 4 years." (Weekend Wine Selection) WineSkinny.com, July 2007
2003 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“Focused, come-hither aromas of wild blackberry, cassis, minerals, mocha and a floral violet note tinged with pepper spice. Plush and silky smooth with ripe, supple tannins. Long, lingering finish.” Note: 2002 and 2003 tasted and revealed with same characteristics, depth and intensity. Score: 92 Wine News, June/July 2006
“How big this wine got, so juicy and ripe. . .heady black currant, blueberry, Provencal herb and new oak flavor.” Score: 91 Wine Enthusiast, September 2006
2003 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
“"Saturated ruby/purple color. . .possesses a complex bouquet of creme de cassis, blackberries, minerals, licorice, and spice. . .elegant and pure with a rich palate, this impressive 2003 should drink well for a decade or more. Score: 91 Robert Parker, December 26, 2006
“Intensity drives this wine, its blackberry flavors and layered, earth-inflected tannins all flowing in one direction, their complexity lasting a minute or more after each taste. It’s a balance of cool, foresty fruit, clovelike spices and sweet tannins.” Score: 93 Wine & Spirits, October 2006
“. . .shows delicious cherry, currant and chocolate flavors, with caramel and toast. For all the deliciousness, it still has mountain tannins, and should age well for a decade.” Score: 91 Wine Enthusiast, September 2006
“Full body; forward rich, ripe dark cherry and berry fruit flavors; firmly structured; full tannin. ”Very highly recommended. California Grapevine, August 2006
“Nicely extracted. . .classic varietal currants with enriching accents of sweet spice and chocolate. . .very good balance and terrific extension.” Two puffs - Connoisseurs’ Guide, August 2006
2003 Central Coast Syrah
“"Nicely fruited young wine. . .good sense of mass and a clear look at varietal spice. Its themes of ripe berries are underlain by notes of pepper and slate, and its tannins are modestly scaled." One Puff - Connoisseurs' Guide, March 2007
2002 Howell Mountain • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
". . .has an enormous heart of blackberry fruit that should emerge in time; classically structured. Start drinking it in 2008." Score: 92 The Wine Enthusiast, December 2005
"Ripe berries and red currants, spice, lovely oak, smoky, long." Four Stars - Decanter Magazine, California Report, September 2005
"Focused aromas of wild blackberry, cassis, mineral, mocha and a violet note. Silky smooth with ripe, supple tannins, it's polished and generous, with abundant berry fruit accented by warm spice and sweet herb; lingering finish." - A Taste of Howell Mountain, Steve Pitcher, San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 2005
"There is a lot to like about this deep ruby/purple-colored effort. Aromas of graphite, minerals, mocha as well as black fruits emerge from this rich, concentrated, long effort with high but sweet tannin. While it reveals some accessibility, it will be better in 3-4 years, and should last for 10-15." Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue 162
"Lovely, elegant blackberry and red cherry flavors are laced with an array of interwoven accents, including sage, toasty vanilla, lavender, espresso, black pepper and warm spices, Beautifully structured, with a graceful arch and a lingering finish. Ready to drink now and over the next seven or eight years." - Wineskinny.com
"Medium to medium dark ruby. . .blackberry and black cherry fruit aroma with hints of cassis and vanilla that developed with airing. . .full body, dark currant and blackberry fruit flavors with firm structure and a hint of mocha; full tannin; lingering aftertaste." Highly Recommended California Grapevine, Oct-Nov 2005
2002 Mt. Veeder • Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
"Lush, firm tannins. . .this Cab lets its fruit star. The black currant, black cherry pie, mocha and vanilla spice flavors are delicious and compelling, and the finish is dry, elegant and upscale." Score: 91 The Wine Enthusiast, December 2005
"Magnificent! Concentrated and dense in the nose with a thick mantle of violet and cedar aromas merging seamlessly with flavors of lush cassis and black plum. Drink 2006-2014." 94 points Vinfolio (www.vinfolio.com)
"Bright fruit, earthy, packed with flavors but with finesse." Four Stars Decanter Magazine, California Report, September 2005
"Sweet perfume of framboise, black currants, licorice and crushed rocks is followed by a broad, concentrated, ripe, impressively-endowed Cabernet boasting sweet tannin as well as a savory, supple palate. It can be drunk now, but promises to evolve for 10-12 years." Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue 162
"Floral, cherry aromas with hints of juniper and cocoa; Full body, big, dense, concentrated. . .ripe black cherry and blackberry with notes of cassis and coffee." Very highly recommended - California Grapevine, Oct-Nov 2005
"Full bodied, round. . .supple, moderately rich. . .black currant, toast, aniseed and plum." Four + Stars Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue 106