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Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • ST93
  • CG92
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Winemaker Notes

The highly sought-after Caymus Special Selection isn't called "special" for nothing. This collectible wine is produced using select barrels of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage.

After tasting the 2008, we think it might actually be better than the heralded 2007 vintage. Plush, seductive, silky and complex - everything you want from this blue chip wine.

Critical Acclaim

JS 98
James Suckling

Caymus Vineyards Special Selection is a reference point for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. According to Chuck Wagner, the patriarch of Caymus Vineyards, it is a blend of the best Cabernet lots in a given year. Until the 2008 vintage, Caymus Vineyard SS had been 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, but Chuck is now adding a small percentage of Merlot to soften the wine and make it a little more approachable when young. I tasted the three most recent vintages of Caymus Vineyards SS and I found them all opulent and almost exotic in character. The 2008 was the most exciting with an intense and powerful finish of wild fruits and velvety tannins.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

Beautifully crafted, rich, intense and powerful, yet supple, graceful and polished, offering a generous core of spicy blackberry, black licorice, wild berry and light cedary notes. Full-bodied and expressive, this is both approachable now and sure to improve for several years. Drink now through 2020.

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is the first example of this cuvee to include Merlot (about 14%) in the blend. The Merlot component has given the wine a cocoa/chocolate nuance to its black currant, licorice-infused fruit. The tannins are velvety soft and the wine is beautifully textured and full-bodied. It is ideal for drinking now and over the next 15 years.

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Bright, full medium ruby. Black raspberry, bitter chocolate and licorice on the nose. Lush, sweet, concentrated and mouthfilling; not nearly as porty as the basic cabernet, with seamless dark fruit flavors showing more energy and depth than the regular bottling. The finish is smoothly tannic, chocolatey and very long. Like a liquid confection, even at this early stage: this really saturates the mouth. This is so sexy now that it's hard not to wonder whether the wine's potential flavor complexity has been compromised by its uncanny early sweetness. But it certainly has the stuffing to age.

CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide

In the full-blown style adopted by this wine some time ago, this newest version is rich, deep, full of concentrated black cherry and currant aromas and filled out at every stop by creamy, caramelly oakiness that might have been a bother if the fruit were not so very convincing. Full in body, fleshy in feel, viscous to the max on the palate, this wine is no shrinking violet, and while there will be those who find it somewhat over the top, it will be welcomed as a first-rate success by those who like a little heft in their wines. It is sure to reward years of cellaring.

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Caymus

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Caymus, , California
Caymus
As the Wagner family celebrated the 40th anniversary of Caymus Vineyards in 2012, they thought back to 1972 which Charlie Wagner, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner and their son, Chuck, built their winery among the vines planted on the family's ranch in Rutherford, California - the center of the Napa Valley. In 1975, the Wagners produced their first Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, which remains the only wine to have twice been named Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" (1984 and 1990 vintage).

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.