Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family and is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage. The Special Selection Cabernet bottling has aromas and flavors which can only be achieved through "hang time" – a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in. Leaving the fruit to "hang" on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases color, and matures the tannins of the grapes. The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine's fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices. Caymus Cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.
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The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection offers up scents of licorice, black currants, spice box, and a hint of flowers. This deep, full-bodied, chunky 2003 should last for 13-15 years."
Wine Spectator - "Supple and harmonious, with rich, fleshy currant, blackberry, herb, mocha and dill. Picks up momentum and holds onto a tight focus through the long, satisfying finish, where the tannins are rich and intense, boding well for short- to mid-term cellaring."
Wine Enthusiast - "Young and dense, almost misleading in its soft fruitiness, but there’s tremendous power, and despite the appearance of approachability, it would be a mistake not to cellar this wine. It’s explosive in fruit and berry flavors, and the tannins are so melted, you could easily open it tonight. But this is a wine with proven ageability. Should begin to mature by 2010 and drink well through 2020, at least. Cellar Selection."
Wine & Spirits - "Finely made, this smooth and smoky cabernet has lasting herbal notes and fresh blueberry flavor. The soft tannins make the wine accessible now with a steak; several years in the cellar will allow more complex flavors to develop."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Extravagant oak lends an especially seductive sense of richness to every aspect of this very rich and outgoing wine, but beneath its layers of vanilla, cocoa and cream and cedar, their lies a nice measure of sweet, unmistakable curranty fruit. The wine is fairly rounded and accessible given its relative youth, and shows little of the austerity or tannic bite that often comes with Cabernets of its tender age."
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As the Wagner family celebrated the 40th anniversary of Caymus Vineyards in 2012, they thought back to 1972 which Charlie Wagner, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner and their son, Chuck, built their winery among the vines planted on the family's ranch in Rutherford, California - the center of the Napa Valley. In 1975, the Wagners produced their first Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, which remains the only wine to have twice been named Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" (1984 and 1990 vintage). View all Caymus Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.