Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting notes Color: Deep black-purple. Nose: Spicy, layered aromas mingling black currants (cassis) with rich blackberry liqueur-the classic identifiers of deeply ripe Cabernet. These fruit aromas mesh seamlessly with notes of roasted espresso beans as well as vanillin from the toasted oak. Mouth: The wine continues to evoke the ripe Cabernet flavors promised in the aroma, adding abundant, multi-dimensional flavors of blackberries and black licorice. The texture is dense, thick and mouth-coating, the tannins firm but sweet. Restrained notes of smoky oak enhance the flavor and texture without dominating. This is a generous wine with an exceptionally long finish. It should drink well for several decades. - Winemaker's Notes

Ripe, rich and complex, with layers of juicy plum, blackberry, anise, coffee and wild berry. Turns supple, with a sense of elegance and finesse. Firms up on the finish, where the tannins fold in. Best from 2002 through 2008. 2,000 cases made. - WS91

The Winery

Caymus Vineyards is a wine producer based in Rutherford, in California's Napa Valley. Like most of the valley's famous producers, it specializes in top-end wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, and its top wine, the Caymus Vineyard Special Selection, is notable for having been the only wine to have twice topped Wine Spectator's Top 100 list, with its 1984 and 1990 vintages.

The first vintage of Caymus was in 1972, although the Rutherford property, owned by the Wagner family, has been planted to grapes since the 1940s. These were sold to other producers in Napa until the 19-year-old Chuck Wagner agreed to help his parents establish a winery on their ranch. Today, Caymus Vineyards is still family owned and operated, with various wines made by Chuck's sons Joe and Charlie, and his daughter, Jenny.

The Special Selection is Caymus's flagship wine, and is only made in years where the vintage conditions are considered good enough. A lower-tier (but still premium) Cabernet Sauvignon is produced every year, and a Zinfandel is also produced in small quantities. The Wagner family is involved in a handful of other brands including Conundrum, Mer Soleil, Belle Glos and Emmolo. In 2015, the family sold the Meiomi wine brand to Constellation.

Caymus Vineyard wines are unapologetically New World in style, tending toward the big, bold, fruit-driven end of the spectrum. Grapes are given a long hang-time in the vineyard, and crop thinning maximizes the amount of sunlight the grapes see during ripening. - Information from Wine Searcher

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