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Flat front label of wine

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • CG92
15.4% ABV
  • WW93
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WS95
  • JS92
  • WW92
  • WW98
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP98
  • WS96
  • W&S92
  • WE97
  • WS93
  • CG91
  • WS96
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • JS94
  • WS94
  • CG92
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • WE97
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • WW93
  • W&S91
  • CG90
  • RP96
  • CG91
  • WE91
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • WS95
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • W&S94
  • WS97
  • RP90
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • RP94
  • WS90
  • WS99
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WS93
  • WS94
  • WS90
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4.0 5 Ratings
15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
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.
WS 94
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.
RP 94
Robert Parker's 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.
CG 92
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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Caymus

Caymus

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Caymus, Napa Valley, California
Image of winery
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).

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

RPT10300312_2008 Item# 107154