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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • CG92
15.4% ABV
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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
Video of winery

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. 

Napa Valley

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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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. 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 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 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.

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 profiling 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