Caymus Vineyards produces some of the most revered wines in the world. Focusing mostly on Cabernet Sauvignons this legendary winery has been producing quality bottles since 1972. 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. Charlie and Lorna planned to sell the ranch land and move to Australia, if Chuck chose not to start the winery with them. Chuck accepted, and Chuck, Charlie, and Lorna launched Caymus Vineyards. The winery has remained family-owned since its founding.
The name Caymus came 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. The vineyard currently farms about 350 acres of choice Napa Valley land and produces 65,000 cases of quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernet Sauvignons – a “Napa Valley” and the “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. 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 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 flavors. According to their website, 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.
Caymus Vineyards encourages reservations for wine tastings, and requires them for groups of 6 or more. Their tasting hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Tasting fee is $50 dollars per person. For more info, including location, visit the Caymus Vineyards website.