2014 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot
One of my favorite moments in wine was a visit to Robert Craig Winery on Howell Mountain on a cool January day (2017). The drive, the view, the company, the wine, creating memories. An even better day was an invitation to their release party on top of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. On that evening, we were randomly paired with another couple that happened to be a client of Vintage Cellars. We laughed about the world being a small place and enjoyed some great Robert Craig wines.

With an effort to create a memorable dinner on a late spring night, I pulled out a couple of bottles that took me back to those Robert Craig memories.

2014 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot: From an estate vineyard just shy of 2300 feet off the valley floor we were in for a treat. Opened June 2021, this Merlot had a few years to chill in the bottle. A classic dusty Napa profile. Notes of sour cherry, hints of fresh ground pepper. The tannins are soft and supple, and the timing is perfect. There are some herbs on the finish, and I just want to take another sip.

On this particular dinner, it paired fantastic with filets I did in a 900-degree pizza oven. The pepper notes in the wine were perfect with a seared steak. Add in some creamed spinach and some au gratin potatoes, take a nap afterwards.

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