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Caymus Vineyards:

In 1971 Charles F. (Charlie) Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son Charles J. (Chuck) Wagner, who had just graduated from high school, if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery Caymus Vineyards. If Chuck declined the offer, Charlie and Lorna were planning to sell out of their ranch in Napa Valley and move to Australia. Chuck accepted his parents’ offer to launch the winery, Caymus Vineyards.
The Wagners produced their first vintage in 1972, consisting of 240 cases of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, Caymus Vineyards has focused their efforts in the production of quality Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Today’s production is 65,000 cases of Caymus Cabernet.

Caymus Vineyards remains 100% family-owned by the Wagners. Charlie, Lorna Belle, and Chuck worked together as a remarkable team for over 30 years building Caymus Cabernet. Today, Chuck, his two sons, Charlie and Joe, and one daughter, Jenny, have joined the family team at Caymus Vineyards. Farming grapes remain the priority with the family farming about 350 acres of choice Napa Valley Wine land.

The Wagners took the name Caymus from the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, given to George Yount in 1836, which encompassed what eventually became the town of Rutherford and much of the surrounding area.

Caymus Vineyards produces two Caymus Cabernets Sauvignons; a Caymus Napa Valleyand the venerable Caymus;Special SelectionBoth Caymus 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 napa wine grapes. The Caymus 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 California Cabernet wine is not produced in difficult years. Caymus Napa Valley is more representative of a standard Caymus Cabernet of Napa Valley, as it is a bit less precocious than the Caymus 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 Cabernet and Special Selection; Cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner at Caymus Vinyards.

Caymus Cabernets are the result of Napa Valley wine country very special climate and soil conditions. The Napa Valley is actually an agricultural preserve located just an hour north of San Francisco where Napa Cabernet wine grapes reign as king- and where little to no land is left to plant.The 2010 growing season held some surprises. A wet spring,followed by an abnormally cool summer delayed full fruitmaturity into mid-October. Just as we were preparing for the harvest, two significant rains visited the Napa Valley. Caymus waited through both rains for warm conditions to return to continue ripening the fruit. Due to this trying year, the 2010 Napa Valley harvest in general will go down as a vintage that produced a short quantity of high quality Napa wine, and Caymus was no exception For Caymus, more than half of our grapes ripened sufficiently so that we could produce a special Cabernet wine this vintage. I can confirm that this bottling of our Caymus ;Napa Valley Cabernet still expresses our house character of high texture and tannin balanced by cassis, chocolate and ripe fruit impressions with a rich, dark color.

While there is a certain style to our winemaking, the soils are most responsible for Caymus wine goodness. Persistent diligence in farming to make good wine is a given, but the key is the earth. Most of the soils where our Caymus Cabernet is grown would make poor garden soil – they are not
rich enough for garden crops. Generally Caymus seek out soils that are gravelly, rocky and well drained where the vines must struggle to exist, producing a concentrated and rich style of red wine.

Most local napa ; winemakers would generalize that Napa Valley cabernets are comprised of two styles the mountain expressing more brawny tannic structure and the valley floor producing more supple wine of generosity. Caymus Cabernets rely on both mountain and valley fruit, where we try to show the best of these two worlds by blending about 75% valley floor with 25% grown in mountain locations.

Tasting Notes:
The nose of this caymus cabernet wine is especially interesting to me. There’s the presence of a well-cared for,
clean farmstead. Possibly the aroma of a freshly opened bale of hay or the combine dust during
the summer harvest at my cousins wheat farm in St. John, Washington. This is layered with the
fruit components- ripe cherries crushed in a snifter, a subtle smell of ripeness