A Plethora of Piñatas

Dense thick garnet, bricking and opaque.  Big round nutty fruit, rich and wild, tahini and sesame crisps hovering over tapenade and savory tropical nuances considerably beyond the range of ‘floral’.  Over-ripe pineapple and dirty orange peel surround a little latex glove and strong black tea.  Not the most complex 10YO Napa cab I’ve had, but firing on most of its available cylinders and lovely to drink.  Nice licked-pencil-lead minerality fading to pencil-shavings and polish.  I was hoping for something heading a little more toward *wonderfulness* from this bottle and while it was a very nice wine, there’s a one-dimensional-ness to it which defies rants and raves.  Roundness and fullness teetering on the brink of oak-encrusted flabbiness seems to be the order here, and late-breathing can hint at oxidation.  In the mouth, full rich oak greet voluptuous dark cherry and banana, accompanied by  wonderful acidity–thinning and mellowing the ripeness–before still-ample tannins wreak havoc on all that curvy fruit.

2006 ROBERT CRAIG Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity Napa Valley 14.5

Yeah… and then THAT happened:

Open a Craig and a party shows up!!!  Really curious about the 2011 Affinity–Really curious about ALL 2011 Napas…  Gorgeous nose, rich, round full roasted spicy.  Green and chewy, nutty and round.  Just a baby dripping in acidity with lollipop fruit popping up all over the place.  Ample tannin and gobs of oak.  It is pretty easy to see the lineage here, and poo-poo the 11’s all you want:  I’m liking most of them, BUT!!! I like my Napa Cabs in the high-80’s–it’s a fact I will not apologize for.  This 2011 Affinity is still out there hot-and-heavy in the stores and at the *old* pricing too, so do not miss it.  I also think (nearly impossible to prove: *on the record*) in alleged “bad” years, lower blends and second labels get better fruit.  Here’s the entry-level bottle from a prestigious house with scores in the low-90’s from a vintage with an over-all ranking in the mid-80’s.  Don’t overlook the 2011’s people.  Otherwise I am going to be the only one laughing in a about ten years when I’m drinking mine.

2011 ROBERT CRAIG Cabernet Sauvignon Affinity Napa Valley 14.3

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