Spring 2023 Release Wines
A Note from Elton Slone |
Dear Cabernet Clubber,
Welcome to 2023 with Robert Craig Winery! It is my pleasure to invite you back through our virtual gates again as a partner in our business and our culture. Thank you for your continued support of our wines and philosophy here at The Craig.
Your membership has become a ticket to an even more exclusive club this year as we are officially closing availability to our wine club and moving to a waitlist for new Craig collectors to ensure that we can properly supply those loyal mountain wine lovers that have been here through it all.
I was out for dinner recently at one of my favorite spots in Napa, Coles Chop House, after they had a huge weekend of business. Being with a group of Cabernet aficionados, I went straight to the American Reds section on the iPad (the digitized list being the only negative with that fantastic resto; printed copy please). I quickly scanned those producers that I would be interested in drinking, and it was as if my underwear had recently come out of a 500-degree dryer; things got tight.
The prices were fairly staggering despite Cole’s reasonable markup. I perused the non-corporate wineries who produce classically structured Cabernets or Bordeaux Blends, trimming from $700 to $500, a slew at $400, finally arriving at $220 for Robert Craig Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder. Well, I’ll drink my own. Upon ordering, however, both were out of stock. As was the Forman, and the Togni and the Pilcrow. The Cabernets all shared a similar style (structured, classic), and each made the value proposition. These wines are go-to choices for many of the knowledgeable locals or visitors who know what’s up when they receive the list. I’m sure they’ve already moved on to the Merlot section in search of proper bang for the buck.
As we move into this new release, more so than the fires and drought conditions reducing our wines’ availability, it has been the increased demand of customers who want the highest quality wines that the Napa Valley has to offer without paying some insane, designer label mark up. It doesn’t hurt that we are family owned, mountain grown, small production, organically farmed, 90% estate grown and that the accolades from the press continue to put our Cabernets at the top rung of Napa’s quality scale regardless of price point. Oh, and we are nice people! The pandemic certainly flooded the market with more inventory than our mailing list and club could handle, but that challenge is fading, and we find ourselves falling short on the ability to fulfill our commitments to our Cabernet Club and to our restaurant partners in the national market. That means a change.
I commit to continuing to provide you with the wines and quantities that you have signed up for with your membership. Now may even be the time to level up given the scarce quantities moving forward. Beyond the benefits of discounts on our wines, experiences and events—and excellent service from our team here at the Craig—I personally feel the primary benefit of your Cabernet Club membership is access to these extraordinary wines. We continue to press forward.
SPRING RELEASE WINES
As a substitute for this year’s Spring Mountain Cabernet, we are thrilled to share with you two stunning selections — the 2017 and 2018 vintages — of the incredibly limited production of our friend Peter Thompson’s Andrew Geoffrey Vineyard on Diamond Mountain. We received only a few tons of this highly sought-after fruit for the 2017 Diamond Mountain Cabernet, so our production is tiny. The vineyard’s white, powdery volcanic ash soils deliver wines of breathtaking intensity and longevity. Even with the enormity of the structure and fruit, there is grace and nuance in the finished wine.
2018 Diamond Mountain Cabernet is deep in color, perfumed with loads of dark, mountain floral tones, mineral, spice-box and graphite pouring out of the glass. On the palate, the profound structure is matched with layer after layer of luscious fruit and round, silky tannins aging gracefully as this wine begins its fifth year in the cellar.
The 2020 vintage of Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon offers the signature Coombsville roasted coffee bean, anise, dusty cherry and a touch of cigar box rising from the glass and flowing in the center of the palate. This is an explosive wine that is a bit constrained on release. A number of months in a dark, quiet place will yield wonderful results.
Finally, 2021 Gap’s Crown Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is without doubt our most successful effort ever in our pursuit to produce a world-class, cellar-worthy white wine.
Thank you for your support and enjoy these Spring Release wines. They are exceptional.
Love and Peace,
Spring 2023 Release Wines
Available to Members Only Until 4/30/23
2018 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon | Retail: $129
2017 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon | Retail: $129
2020 Affinity Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | Retail: $78
2021 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Chardonnay | Retail: $58
Enjoy First Access to All New Releases
Craig Cabernet Club Members get first dibs on all New Release Wines, plus special member pricing & shipping offers. Join the waitlist to learn when membership is available.