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Reflections on Napa, Caymus

I am starting my second week of the CWAS (California Wine Appellation Specialist) program through the San Francisco Wine School a bit early. Our next class focuses on Napa. The online version of the class begins on Monday. My early start, though, is to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Caymus, a Napa winery that has icon status, at least in my family.

061414aMy brother introduced me to Caymus Special Selection years ago. I immediately liked the wine. In fact, I liked it so much that for the first barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon that Kathy and I made, we tried to nudge the wine towards a Caymus Special Selection. I have been told by others, that are familiar with Caymus, that our Cab was not as good as a Special Selection, but was as good as the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kathy and I visited Caymus in October of 2009. We arrived at our scheduled tasting appointment a bit early. That gave us time to view the many photos on the walls of the tasting room. The photos show the history of Caymus Vineyards. We learned that the vineyards were started by Charlie and Lorna Wagner. At first, grapes were sold to other wineries while Charlie made wine for the family. In 1972 their son, Chuck joined his parents as they began the commercial winery. We learned that the name Caymus was named after the historic Mexican land named Rancho Caymus in which the vineyards are located.

Caymus Vineyards tasting room

Caymus Vineyards tasting room

Our tasting was more formal than most wine tastings. A rectangular wood table was set up for ten tasters. A placemat held four wine glasses for the four different wines for the tasting. The tasting was led by a staff member. We tasted a 2003 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, a 2006 Napa Valley Zinfandel, a 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and finished with a 2006 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. In the years since, we have had other tastings of the Caymus Special Selection with my brother. Today, we will help celebrate a massive Twitter tasting of the release of the 2012 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary.

Tasting of four wines

Tasting of four wines

061414dFor the release of this commemorative selection, a live webcast will take place from Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford. The webcast will be hosted by Chuck, Charlie, Joseph and Jenny Wagner. You can view the webcast live beginning at 4:00 pm EDT. From 5:00 – 5:30 EDT, there will be a live Twitter tasting of the 40th Anniversary Napa Valley 2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon. Follow the hashtag #Caymus40th. This special edition of the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is for sale at Total Wine for $54.99. What do you think of this Cab?


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