Caymus Vineyards, California Cabernet Sauvignon wine producer profile, wine¬†tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines
Caymus History, Overview
Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner family both have a long history in the Napa valley area. The Wagner family moved to the area in 1906, following the San Francisco earthquake. They started planting planting vineyards that same year in the Rutherford appellation. By 1915, they were growing their own grapes for use in bulk wines. In 1941, before America entered World War 2, the Wagner family bought 73 acres of prime vineyard land in Rutherford. It took over 20 years before they were able to truly start seriously planting grapevines. Prior to being planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, the land they bought had been used primarily as a fruit ranch.
1972 saw the official debut of Caymus Vineyards. Caymus Vineyards took its name from the original Mexican land grant awarded during the 19th century in the Rutherford section their vines were planted in. Just three years later, Caymus Vineyards became one of the first wineries to produce a California Cabernet Sauvignon made from a special selection. The wine is produced from a selection of the estates best parcels located in Rutherford. Due to the selection process for the wine, it was logically called, Caymus Special Selection.
They did this with the help of Randy Dunn, who later formed his own, eponymous winery. In fact, the creation of Caymus Special Selection was due to suggestions from Randy Dunn. At first, Caymus Special Selection was aged up to 4 years in a combination of new and old, French oak barrels. Today, more new oak is used, up to 90%, but the aging time has been reduced to an average of 18 months.
Caymus Special Selection remains a high quality wine, with a soft, elegant, yet ripe and rich quality. The wine has had its up and down period, but starting with the 2007 vintage, the wine is back on track.
Caymus Vineyards Wines, Winemaking
From 60 acres of vines in Rutherford, Caymus Vineyards produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Caymus Special Selection, Conundrum, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. They also produced Pinot Noir for a few short years, but that grape variety is no longer used by Caymus. Much of the non Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced from fruit purchased from other growers.
In 2013, Caymus vineyards added 178 more acres to their holding in Northern California. To handle the increased production, Caymus is building a new, massive wine making facility and storage area in Fairfiled California, where at least 33% of their wine will be produced and bottled. This adds to their operations in Santa Lucia Highlands for Conundrum, Mer Soleil and Silver, along with their labels Belle Glos and Meomi, which are made in their Rutherford location.
Serving and Decanting Caymus with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Caymus wines are best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages of their red wine can be decanted for 1-3 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
The red wine of Caymus Vineyards is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Caymus is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.
The white wine of Caymus Vineyards is best served with all types of seafood and shellfish, sushi, sashimi, chicken, veal, pork and cheese.
Caymus Vineyards is a massive operation that produces close to 200,000 cases of California each vintage for all their wines. The production from Napa is much smaller at closer to 30,000 cases per year.