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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE97
  • WS93
  • CG91
14.9% ABV
  • WW93
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  • WS95
  • JS92
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  • RP96
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  • W&S92
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  • RP94
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  • CG92
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  • CG92
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  • WS94
  • WE97
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  • RP96
  • WE93
  • WS93
  • WW93
  • W&S91
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  • WS93
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  • WS91
  • W&S94
  • WS97
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4.4 38 Ratings
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4.4 38 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons – a "Napa Valley" and the venerable "Special Selection." Both Cabernet bottlings have aromas and flavors which can only be achieved through "hang time" – a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in. Leaving the fruit to "hang" on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases color, and matures the tannins of the grapes. The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine's fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices. Caymus Cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.

Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family and is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage. This wine is not produced in difficult years. Caymus Napa Valley is more representative of a standard Cabernet of Napa Valley, as it is a bit less precocious than the Special Selection, but still delivers big. Caymus prides itself on producing wines that are as approachable in youth as well at maturity. Both the "Napa Valley" and "Special Selection" Cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
So delicious now, you can hardly keep your hands off it. Blackberry tart, ripe blueberry, cassis, milk chocolate, licorice and sweet, smoky cedar flavors flood the mouth, dramatically huge and memorable, and lasting long into the finish. The tannins are obvious, but sweetly ripe and soft. A brilliant evocation of Napa Cabernet, despite a high production level of nearly 30,000 cases, which is about the same size as a Bordeaux first growth. Shows the class and potency this bottling has exhibited for many years, and believe it or not, the price is a relative bargain these days. Drink now–2020.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Temptingly rich and layered, with complex mocha, plum and wild berry fruit that’s spicy and aromatic. Full-bodied, gaining depth and turning ever more elegant and detailed, with tannins that give this traction. Drink now through 2019.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
High in ripeness and generously enriched by scads of creamy, somewhat caramelly, slightly toasty oak, this full and complete wine from Caymus does a masterful job of delivering lots of concentrated currant fruit tinged with notes of blueberry and root beer. It is supple and a tad fleshy in feel and takes full advantage of its ample tannins for some needed spine that serves as an offset to its never-say-die, lengthy fruit on the palate. Put it away for five to ten years.
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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.

LSB111899_2009 Item# 111899