Caymus Winery has long been an icon of Napa. It ranked #1 in the 2016 Wine & Spirits Restaurant Top 50, which polls America’s top restaurants for their best selling wines. More recently, Caymus was revealed as one of the most searched-for Cabernet Sauvignons on WineSearcher.com.
So what’s behind the popularity of Caymus? We at The Wine Daily decided to take a closer look (and a trip to Napa) to find out.
Caymus produces just three wines at the moment: a Napa Valley Cabernet ($72), a Special Selection Cabernet ($180) and a Zinfandel ($38). But it is perhaps this core varietal focus that has helped Caymus ensure quality craftsmanship and consistency throughout the years. Our hypothesis for the popularity of Caymus comes down to approachability, distinctive style, and a superior vineyard experience that elevates the brand.
One of the most appealing things about Caymus is that it is ready to drink now. Most Cabernets under 5 years of age will be harsher on the palate, but Caymus is incredibly easy to drink and approachable straight off the shelf. While cellaring the wine will certainly yield earthier and mellower aromatics, those looking for a bolder, more expressive Cabernet will be happy with Caymus as it is now.
Across vintages, the Caymus style is unmistakeable: rich dark fruit and ripe, supple tannins, layered with warm notes of cocoa and vanilla. The 2014 vintage was just released this past month, and underscores the near perfect Napa growing conditions — summer warmth without excessive heat, allowing the grapes to reach optimal maturity and aromatics. The 2014 Special Selection takes the Cabernet up a notch, with rounder, more elegant tannins and more finessed, subtle aromatics. In the photo above, you can just see the deep violet color of its tannins.
True to its mantra around the importance of family, the Caymus winery offers an experience that is perfect for groups. In the lovely gardens, group tastings are set in shaded cabanas with cushioned wicker lounge sofas. The staff is friendly, attentive, and serves the perfect amount of pour that is generous enough to let you truly savor a wine, without being excessive. The tasting appeals to multiple palates by offering a mix of both whites and reds from across the Wagner portfolio, including Mer Soleil Chardonnay, Emmolo Merlot, and Caymus Zinfandel and Chardonnay. End-to-end, it’s hard for not to leave Caymus with a greater appreciation for the brand.
Conclusion? It’s no surprise that Caymus has reached iconic/cult wine status across the U.S. Its singular approachability, expressiveness, and richness of wines stands apart from other styles produced in the Napa area. Combined with a luxurious vineyard experience, Caymus goes on our Napa top list for The Wine Daily.