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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE97
  • WS93
  • CG91
  • WW93
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WS95
  • JS92
  • WW92
  • WW98
  • RP96
  • WS94
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4.4 37 Ratings
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4.4 37 Ratings

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

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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, , 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).

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

LSB111899_2009 Item# 111899

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