2009 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L

Year: 2009
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 91
Connoisseurs' Guide: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
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"Supple and creamy-textured, with mocha, ripe plum and cherry flavors that show touches of tobacco, espresso and underbrush. Full-bodied, gaining tannic traction on the finish, elegant and readily approachable. Drink now through 2018." (WS)

"Not the least bit shy about standing up to its big and pricey mate, this nicely crafted wine shares a keen focus on the currant fruit that makes Napa Valley Cabernets so special. It also shares a drift into slight fleshiness, and, in this case, shows greater willingness to be drunk up in the next five years even if keeping it longer is within its ability to age. Still, with a somewhat more open stance and more inviting price, this wine serves up lots to like while we wait for the Special Selection. Reviewed: April 2012" (CG)

"A flashy, opulent Cabernet. You could even call it sexy. It’s so soft and luxurious in blackberry, blueberry and cassis flavors. Absolutely delicious by any standard, yet the dry structure maintains elegant balance. Drink soon for youthful drama. Hard to believe production was nearly 72,000 cases. " (WE)

"Which Napa winery releases their Cabernet almost a full year before most other high end producers? Caymus. Why? Because every single vintage sells out before the next is ready to be released. Somehow Chuck Wagner manages to produce an incredibly consistent Cabernet regardless of the vintage, and his loyal fans recognize this.

Wanger put out a well produced informative video about how he makes Caymus wines. If you are interested in the process, you would enjoy this video. View the video on YouTube here.

Caymus’s consistency comes down to vineyard management and after watching the video, I was surprised to learn that Caymus harvests by machine- something that most high-end wineries would not admit to. It obviously works for them, and I appreciate that Wagner isn’t interested in posturing. The true secret to their consistency is the range of vineyards they have to choose from when producing each year’s wines. In addition to their home Rutherford Vineyard, Caymus sources from vineyards throughout Napa allowing them to choose from each vintage’s best microclimates to produce their wine.

As expected, this is a very ripe, dark and rich Cabernet made in the typical Caymus style. The nose is blueberry and vanilla with a palate dominated by dark chocolate and coffee. This is a sweet wine, but balanced on the finish, with a nice acid that seems to be more prevalent in the 2009 vintage. If you sometimes find Caymus too sweet, this vintage might be one to try.

This is my third vintage to write up on this blog and I can tell you confidently that 2009 is another winner from Caymus. I can’t wait to see how Wagner works his magic with the difficult 2010 vintage.

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Buy Here: 2009 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon $59.95" (Nickel & Dime)

Winery Notes:
Caymus Cabernets are not single vineyard bottlings. Our wines are an individual expression of a small, yet world renowned wine valley. There are 15 sub-appellations of the Napa Valley, and we source fruit from 8 of them. My personal feelings are that most of the Valley can make great Cabernet as is proven by the critics’ scores over the last decades. Great wines produced today can be achieved by cultural practices in farming within the special soils and climate that exist here.

I would generalize that Napa Valley wines are comprised of two styles − the mountain (brawn) and the valley (supple). This is a significant fact about Caymus cabernets. They are a blend of both mountain and valley fruit − creating dimension and richness in character.

The tannin levels of our wines are higher and the acidity lower than most other Napa Cabernets. Our processes from vineyard to the winery are responsible for this desirable combination. The wine is "nuanced" with French oak aging for 16 months before bottling. Our goal is to make wine that tastes exciting in its youth or in its wisdom of 10 years or more. I generally favor wines which are 12 years or younger regardless of their origin, but that's my personal taste.

"Scarlet color and brackish edges. Nose is sweet fruit and smoked meats. This wine already has some bouquet− truffle mushrooms, vanilla style oak. The palate is creamy richness with nuances of leather and a cocoa-style fine grain tannin. The flavors and structure of this vintage are consistent with the Caymus style − spice, toast, cassis − fully rich, yet supple. -Chuck Wagner WINEMAKER