Among fans of California Cabernet, Caymus has long been synonymous with excellence. The two current-release Cabernets--the Napa Valley and the Special Selection--follow proudly in this tradition, offering both pleasure now and potential for further aging. My notes are below:
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
There’s a gorgeous seam of mint that runs down the nose, lifting the red currant, cherry, and sun-warmed graphite and cedar notes, complicating them gorgeously with the toasty oak. On the palate, this is a silky, irresistible wine, still packing it in a bit yet still boasting ambrosially sweet tannins and expressive kirsch and red licorice flavors. It’s balanced and stunning, finishing with cherry tea, chamomile, and cafe viennoise. While this delicious red is drinking wonderfully now--who wouldn’t want to pop the cork immediately?--you could hold it through 2020.
Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
A real sense of savoriness defines the nose, with birch bark, raspberry creme, grilled green bell pepper, and red and black licorice. Surprisingly subtle; this conveys a sense of self-confidence. On the palate, stunningly sweet-spicy flavors of chocolate-enrobed blackberries, maduro cigar tobacco, sandalwood, incense, balsamic, and, on the finish, flowers and bonfire dance alongside the dark cherry ganache. Dusty tannins and a remarkable sense of restraint underpin a powerful wine with the potential to evolve for years. Drink now with a good stint in the decanter, or hold through 2025.