In some vintages, the decision about when to pick is a tough judgment call as we closely follow the maturation of the grapes` flavors and tannins. Both Chris Phelps and I found this vintage less demanding, as we achieved the level of ripeness we were seeking from area to area in the vineyard with perfect, rain-free weather conditions. This was a great vintage mainly due to Mother Nature, who gave us a cool, long summer and held off the winter until true physiological ripeness occurred and all the grapes were off the vines. Due to the cool start of the growing season, we did even more cluster thinning than usual to balance the crop load on each vine and ensure maturity. The resulting yields were only about half of normal, but the quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon was extraordinary. In the small vineyard blocks that consistently produce grapes of the level we require for the Special Selection designation, the flavors were lush and substantial, and the tannins had a ripe, melt-in-the-mouth quality. We hand-harvested the grapes from September 25 through October 18.
In many ways, the 1999 vintage wine made itself. Overnight after crushing, we saw intense color and great concentration in the juice, which only deepened during fermentation and the three-week maceration period. In this vintage, Chris selected 93 percent new French oak barrels, crafted by half a dozen different coopers for additional complexity and nuances of aroma and flavor. The wines aged in barrel for 17 months before we elected to capture the exuberant fruit flavors, the hallmark of this excellent, ripe vintage. I believe the resulting wine defines pure pleasure-and Special Selection`s true pedigree.
|The 40th anniversary bottling of Caymus Cabernet is everything a devoted fan could ask for! Every bit the palate pleaser that we've come to expect from this legendary Napa house. Black cherries, sweet plums, chocolate-covered berries and lavish oak compete for your attention in the flavor profile, and the texture is pure silk.
|Wine maker notes
|This wine exemplifies our style of
Cabernet out of a great vintage—deep
color, rich, concentrated and balanced.
2012 celebrates 40 years of producing
our pride and joy, Caymus Vineyards
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Chuck Wagner, Owner/Winemaker
|The 2012 growing season was a special year for us here at Caymus Vineyards. Mother Nature handed us near-perfect weather conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. We did our very best work in the vineyard and made sure that each vine produced a low yield of high quality fruit. During late August at the time of 90% veraison, when sugar accumulates in the fruit and the berries begin to change color, we went through every row and dropped any clusters that were delayed in ripening. By doing this we eliminate any additional acid or “green” characters in the wine. We also allowed our fruit to hang longer on the vine until the fruit showed signs of dehydration or dimpling in the berry skins. This is when the fruit is at peak ripeness and ready to be made into wine. On the last day of October, we harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon. I really think that the 2012 vintage is one for the books and will produce a very rich wine full of color, flavor and texture.
- Chuck Wagner, Winemaker/Owner
|In 1971 Charlie Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son Chuck, who had just graduated from high school, if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery. 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 Wa gner's produced their first vintage in 1972, consisting of 240 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, Caymus has focused their efforts in the production of quality Cabernet Sauvignon. Today's production is 65,000 cases … Caymus Vineyards remains 100% family-owned by the Wagner's. 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. Farming grapes remain the priority with the family farming about 350 acres of choice Napa Valley land … the Wagner's 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.