One of the biggest players in Napa, Caymus has established themselves as superstar producers of Cabernet. Parker and other famous wine writers have talked about Caymus Cabernet for decades. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the past two vintages of Caymus Cabernet, you are in for an incredible treat. The 2012 bottlings of Cabernet celebrated Caymus’s 40th anniversary. Caymus has created rich and viscous efforts in the 2012 and 2013 vintages, working with near ideal growing conditions. Caymus also produces a reserve Cabernet wine, bottled as their ‘Special Selection.’ While I’ve only sampled a few previous vintages of this special wine, the 2012 Special Selection Cabernet was an incredible success.
I have been able to sample many vintages of Caymus Cabernet in the past but the past two bottlings have been the most impressive in terms of richness, viscosity and terroir. Both the 2012 and 2013 Cabernets had rich fruit structure. I rated the 2012 (WWB, 94) just in front of the 2013 (WWB, 93), as I liked the structure just marginally better in the ’12. The 2012 Special Selection Cabernet (WWB, 95) is even better than the 2012 Cabernet. This hedonistic and dense bottling is intense and memorable, carrying a much higher pricetag as well ($150.00 compared to $60.00). For a very special occasion, check out the 2012 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet (WWB, 95). This one is a heavyhitter of a wine, with mountains of fruit alongside wonderful graphite and mineral components. This is up there with the best Napa Cabernet bottlings that I have sampled this year. These Cabernets just marvelous special occasion wines that any California Cabernet drinker is sure to enjoy. These dense Cabernets are somewhat difficult to pair with dishes and are just a joy to drink on their own. I feel that these wines don’t need a rich ribeye steak and would be best suited to sip and enjoy, as they are a meal in themselves. Look for these wines at great Northwest area wine shops like Met Market, Esquin, Total Wines and Bev Mo. #caymus #caymusvineyards
2012 Caymus Cabernet- Iconic wine and iconic vintage that delivers. This dense wine has aromas of blackberry jam, cassis and violets, followed by flavors of creme de cassis, blackberry and mocha. Dense and round, this thing is ready to drink and expresses the best of this wonderful vintage. Drink 2015-2030. -94 $60.00
2013 Caymus Cabernet- This impressive follow up to the exquisite 2012 rendition comes from another great vintage. The 2013 is sourced from eight of the sixteen sub-appellations in Napa Valley. As the wine itself opens, it delivers aromas of blackberry, cassis, milk chocolate and anise. On the palate there are delicious flavors of black cherry, smoke, milk chocolate, anise and graphite through a rich and voluptuous body. The mouth coating finish is long and persistent, leaving behind layers of dark fruits. This will only get better with time, but will certainly be long-lived. Drink 2016-2030- 93 $60.00
2012 Caymus ‘Special Selection’ Cabernet- This opulent wine comes from the winery’s 40th anniversary and an outstanding vintage. Even more dense and intense than its outstanding sibling (Napa Valley Cabernet), the 2012 Special Selection Cabernet is an absolute joy to savor. The wine begins with aromas reminiscent of violets, graphite, crème de cassis, coffee grounds and lavender. The bouquet is intense and has a wonderful sense of terroir. There are flavors of mocha, blackberry preserves, graphite, blueberry and wonderful minerality. This showcases the exceptional vintage with fruit weight and structure. This has a long and lingering finish that persists for more than a half second. The texture and mouthfeel is intense with light tannins that make the wine impossible to resist right now. Drink 2015-2035- 95 $150.00