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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WW98
  • RP96
  • WS94
14.8% ABV
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4.3 15 Ratings
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4.3 15 Ratings
14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A rich, dense ruby color, hints at the dark fruit nose of blackberry and currant that carries through to the palate, interwoven with complex aromas of black licorice, anise and crème de cassis.  On the palate, the wine opens up to reveal an earthiness, with brown spice, cigar box and ripe dark fruits that linger throughout the extracted and long finish.  The texture is opulent and rich, yet has a velvety quality with supple density. Rich, fine-grained tannins are balanced with ripe fruit, acidity and oak.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 98
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
I have been tasting the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet since the winery first vintage in 1975 and this their best ever! The super fine 2012 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, from a superior year in the North Coast of California, shows incredible synergy of the elements: fruit, earth and wood. Everything here works so well, the wines high tannin levels are wrapped nicely with the wine's nicely extracted fruit. Make no mistake this wine represents Napa Valley royalty at its best. (Tasted: April 23, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection has a dense blackish/purple color and creamy, sweet crème de cassis fruit, blackberries, a touch of graphite and vanilla, This exuberant, boisterous, in-your-face style of Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly a fruit bomb, so be warned. Full-bodied and opulent with stunning concentration and richness, the wine has no hard edges and is much in the Caymus style of terrific fruit intensity (most of it black and blue), voluptuous texture, and a stunning finish with plenty of glycerin, wood and spice. The alcohol on the label is listed at 14.8%, which seems about accurate. I have Caymus Special Selection in my cellar back to some of the historic wines made by Chuck Wagner’s father in the early 1970s, and while the style’s gotten more precocious and consumer-friendly, these wines, even the more latter-day styles, have a tendency to age beautifully. This can be drunk now, or cellared for 20+ years.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Exhibits a delicious, up-front core of juicy dark berry, blackberry, black licorice and creamy, toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Appropriately tannic and structured, this is made in a style you can drink now or cellar for up to a decade. Drink now through 2026.
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Caymus

Caymus

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Caymus, Napa Valley, California
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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.

BGR140994_2012 Item# 140994