Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The highly sought-after Caymus Special Selection isn't called "special" for nothing. This collectible wine is produced using select barrels of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage.
After tasting the 2008, we think it might actually be better than the heralded 2007 vintage. Plush, seductive, silky and complex - everything you want from this blue chip wine.
James Suckling - "Caymus Vineyards Special Selection is a reference point for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. According to Chuck Wagner, the patriarch of Caymus Vineyards, it is a blend of the best Cabernet lots in a given year. Until the 2008 vintage, Caymus Vineyard SS had been 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, but Chuck is now adding a small percentage of Merlot to soften the wine and make it a little more approachable when young. I tasted the three most recent vintages of Caymus Vineyards SS and I found them all opulent and almost exotic in character. The 2008 was the most exciting with an intense and powerful finish of wild fruits and velvety tannins."
Wine Spectator - "Beautifully crafted, rich, intense and powerful, yet supple, graceful and polished, offering a generous core of spicy blackberry, black licorice, wild berry and light cedary notes. Full-bodied and expressive, this is both approachable now and sure to improve for several years. Drink now through 2020."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is the first example of this cuvee to include Merlot (about 14%) in the blend. The Merlot component has given the wine a cocoa/chocolate nuance to its black currant, licorice-infused fruit. The tannins are velvety soft and the wine is beautifully textured and full-bodied. It is ideal for drinking now and over the next 15 years."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, full medium ruby. Black raspberry, bitter chocolate and licorice on the nose. Lush, sweet, concentrated and mouthfilling; not nearly as porty as the basic cabernet, with seamless dark fruit flavors showing more energy and depth than the regular bottling. The finish is smoothly tannic, chocolatey and very long. Like a liquid confection, even at this early stage: this really saturates the mouth. This is so sexy now that it's hard not to wonder whether the wine's potential flavor complexity has been compromised by its uncanny early sweetness. But it certainly has the stuffing to age."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "In the full-blown style adopted by this wine some time ago, this newest version is rich, deep, full of concentrated black cherry and currant aromas and filled out at every stop by creamy, caramelly oakiness that might have been a bother if the fruit were not so very convincing. Full in body, fleshy in feel, viscous to the max on the palate, this wine is no shrinking violet, and while there will be those who find it somewhat over the top, it will be welcomed as a first-rate success by those who like a little heft in their wines. It is sure to reward years of cellaring."
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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 granted 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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