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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1990

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

The 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon-Special Selection appears to be the best Caymus has produced since 1986 and 1985. Two thousand, six-bottle cases will be released in February, 1994. The wine offers a saturated, dark purple color, and a rich, spicy, oaky nose backed up by generous quantities of jammy blackcurrants. Ripe, highly extracted, and full-bodied, with copious amounts of sweet tannin and layers of fruit, this is a knock-out, flamboyantly-styled Cabernet for drinking over the next 15 or more years.

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon-Special Selection appears to be the best Caymus has produced since 1986 and 1985. Two thousand, six-bottle cases will be released in February, 1994. The wine offers a saturated, dark purple color, and a rich, spicy, oaky nose backed up by generous quantities of jammy blackcurrants. Ripe, highly extracted, and full-bodied, with copious amounts of sweet tannin and layers of fruit, this is a knock-out, flamboyantly-styled Cabernet for drinking over the next 15 or more years.

WS 93
Wine Spectator

Aging extremely well, this is rich, sleek and elegant, with a wide range of black cherry, anise, currant, plum and earth notes that offer depthand complexity, finishing in a long aftertaste. Tannins are softening.--California Cabernet retrospective.

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Caymus

Caymus

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Caymus, , California
Caymus
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).

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

BGR112324_1990 Item# 112324

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