Robert Craig Winery Spotlight
with Guest Speaker, Elton Slone
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST
Join us for a wine tasting event featuring Robert Craig wines and guest speaker Elton Slone, President and CEO of Robert Craig Winery. He will be joining us live on the big screen sharing the six wines below.
Robert Craig Chardonnay, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California
Robert Craig Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cuvée, California
Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot, Napa Valley, California
Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Robert Craig Howell Mountain Zinfandel, Black Sears, Napa Valley, California
To reserve a table and attend the wine tasting in person, please call your local participatingWineStylesstore. Or, if you prefer to attend remotely, pre-order a wine tasting kit to-go and watch/taste along with us on Zoom!
About Robert Craig Winery:
Founder Robert (Bob) Craig began his long and storied career at The Hess Collection in the 1980s. In 1990, Bob Craig founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three friends from business school. In 2004, CEO Elton Slone joined the winery and became a full partner in 2007. Following Bob’s retirement in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards, Robert Craig Winery consistently garners high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery’s history here.
Since his arrival at Robert Craig Winery in early 2004, Elton Slone has continued the Craig’s commitment to producing properly expressive cabernet sauvignons from mountain vineyards in the Napa Valley. His career spanning nearly three decades in the luxury wine industry have made Elton a fan of single vineyard, cellar worthy wines that display balance, nuance and complexity. Today, he spends much of his time traveling around the country to share the Craig word and wines with other wine enthusiasts. He brings his passion for old world wines to the new world of Craig with a production philosophy based on site expression. Learn more about Elton and the rest of the Robert Craig team here.
Robert Craig Winery 2017 “The Stick” Red Blend Candlestick Ridge Vineyard Napa Valley, California
BOLD WINE STYLE
This Cabernet Sauvignon blend is dense, powerful and beautifully concentrated. The nose is perfumed with luxurious aromas of black currant, boysenberry, cedar box and Herbes de Provence. The intensely layered palate excites with cassis, plum, and graphite. It is rich and seductive with a velvety texture that finishes long and perfumed.
Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume Varietal: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc TA: 6.3 g/L pH: 3.77 Maturation: 18 months in 70% new French oak Appellation: Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California Winemaker: Jason Price Critical Acclaim: 93 pts. JamesSuckling.com
VINTAGE: The 2017 harvest was the first in the area following a 5 year drought. The soils and water table had been replenished and the vines took off early in the season and weather patterns were about normal until late August. In early September, heat spikes hit the valley and set record or near record temperatures. With plenty of water available most vineyards were heavily irrigated and the temperatures cooled in mid-September to more normal levels. The quantity of grapes was quite low, but quality looked to be excellent. A huge wildfire at the end of harvest threatened vines that still had fruit, but luckily the vast majority of grapes were already safely in the winery for the year.
TERROIR: Just down the road from the estate, Candlestick Ridge is the northernmost vineyard in the Howell Mountain AVA and is slightly warmer than the summit ridge where the Winery Estate vineyard lies. Candlestick is influenced by warm air from Pope Valley to the east and is protected from the constant wind that hits the ridge line. The big subsurface boulders were removed during the replanting, leaving thin tufa soil on top of a rocky volcanic bedrock.
Robert Craig Winery 2018 Howell Mountain Zinfandel Black Sears Vineyard Napa Valley, California
BOLD WINE STYLE
True to the Howell Mountain, the 2018 vintage is beautifully clean and focused with boysenberry and bramble berry wrapped in a subtle pepper spice on the nose and palate. This Zinfandel is balanced and elegantly structured through the finish.
Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume Varietal: Zinfandel TA: 6.3 g/L pH: 3.57 Maturation: 18 months in 60% new French oak Appellation: Howell Mountain AVA, Napa Valley, California Winemaker: Jason Price
VINTAGE: February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in the spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.
TERROIR: Black Sears has “King of the Mountain” bragging rights on Howell Mountain – topping out at 2,400 feet, making it officially the highest vineyard on the mountain. The vineyard is located just past the gate of the Howell Mountain estate, and now the winery surrounds it – literally – having purchased the vineyard just on the other side of it as well. For 25 years, winemakers have clamored for the Zinfandel grown here: both biodynamic and organic, the site is dry farmed and the vines are pruned in the old world style with no trellising. Zinfandel thrives in the mountain’s well-drained, rocky, volcanic soils and moderate climate.
ROBERT CRAIG WINERY: Bob Craig always had a passion for Napa Valley Mountain Cabernets, so naturally, he founded his eponymous winery on Howell Mountain with three of his friends from business school. In 2004, the team was joined by CEO Elton Slone, who later became a full partner in 2007. After Bob’s retirement and departure from the wine business in 2012, Slone has continued to move the business forward with the other three founding partners. Today, the winery is still known for producing small-lot, site-expressive wines from high elevation vineyards. Robert Craig Winery consistently receives high scores and positive accolades from the wine press. Learn more about the winery here.
The Hess Collection 2018 Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon Allomi Vineyard Napa Valley, California 375 ml (half bottle)
BOLD WINE STYLE
“The combination of steady heat and well-drained clay loam soils in our Allomi Vineyard allows fruit to ripen evenly, gaining welcomed complexity and layers of flavor. We consistently see beautiful yields from the Allomi Vineyard, and this vintage was no different. On the nose, this wine delivers delicious aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and elegant expressions of lavender alongside a touch of vanilla. Allomi Cabernet is concentrated upon entry with dense, but well-integrated tannins that provide a round, plush mouthfeel. Layers of juicy black fruit, notably black cherry and black plum, lead to elements of espresso supported by a subtle oak spice that adds to the personality of the wine and reminds us why this is one of our most popular Napa offerings.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot TA: 0.58 gms/100ml pH: 3.76 Harvested: October 8 – November 2, 2018 Maturation: 18 months in 27% new American oak Appellation: Napa Valley, California Winemaker: Dave Guffy Food Pairing: Chocolate Lave Cookie Recipe >
VINTAGE: Budbreak began on schedule at the end of February, and Spring brought moderate temperatures that progressed into a warm Summer without any disruptive heat spikes. Steady, consistent growing conditions provided the perfect environment for the fruit to mature and develop. As the moderate, even temperatures continued into the Fall, harvest started slightly later than normal, and in some areas, extended long into the first week of November. With such lengthy hang time, the fruit matured consistently and was picked when it was at its peak, promising exceptional flavor in bottle.
VINEYARD: A pioneer by nature, Donald Hess was determined to defy convention and pursue winemaking in the far reaches of the Napa Valley. In 1995, he sought out the Allomi Vineyard with a vision to uncover its potential. Once a dormant beauty, the Allomi Vineyard now gives life to luxury Napa Valley wines. The estate vineyard is located in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley. The 210-acre vineyard is focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones that add diversity of flavors and complexity to this wine.
THE HESS COLLECTION WINES: Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse micro-climates and soils uniquely suited to wine grape growing. It is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. The Hess Collection wines are family owned, sustainably farmed and dedicated to reflecting a true sense of place. There wines are recognizable for their elegant, rich and complex flavors and a tradition of excellence. Learn more about the Hess story here >
Chocolate Lava Cookie Recipe – pairs with Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
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