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Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe, velvety tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. Cabernet grapes are farmed in eight of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations, with diversification enabling Caymus to make the best possible wine in a given year.
An alluring plum red, with scents of dark cherries, chocolate shavings and violets. A hint of Napa Valley dust comes through on the nose, which has an equal balance of fruit, oak and earthiness. Enters the palate with a soft suppleness, peaking with flavors or cassis, dark berries, lavender and nutmeg. Texturous and fills the mouth. The exceptionally long finish displays a harmony of grippiness, vanilla oak and lush fruit.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1972, Chuck Wagner started Caymus Vineyards with his parents, Charlie and Lorna, with a bold plan and an uncharted future. They were a family of farmers with deep roots in the Napa Valley – in 1857, Chuck’s great-great grandfather captained a wagon train to California from Bible Grove, Missouri. Working together for decades, Chuck and his parents established the family’s work ethic, appetite for innovation, down-to-earth sensibility, and deep appreciation of the pleasures of good food and wine enjoyed with family and friends.
Today, Caymus Cabernet is one of the region’s most celebrated wines. Made from grapes farmed in 8 of Napa Valley’s 16 appellations, it has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe tannins – as approachable in youth as it is in maturity. Chuck Wagner continues to make two world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignons – Caymus Napa Valley and Caymus Special Selection. Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine in the world to be honored twice as Wine Spectator magazine’s “Wine of the Year” for the 1984 and 1990 vintages.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.