This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary



Caymus Logo




On Saturday June 14th, Total Wine hosted a live tasting and webcast with Chuck Wagner, his sons and daughter.  They discussed a few of their other labels including Belle Glos, Mer Soleil and Emmolo.  People fortunate enough to live near a Total Wine were able to also taste the wines.  Unfortunately, I do not live near a Total Wine store.  Charles Communications solved the problem by sending me a bottle of the featured wine, the 2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was the last wine to be discussed during the webcast.  Along with other bloggers from around the country, we were to taste and Tweet our opinions and comments.


The webcast for the event is available, at least for now, by clicking here.



About the company:

Caymus is part of the Wagner Family of Wine along with Mer Soleil, Conundrum, Belle Glos and the newest label, Emmolo.  The winery takes the “Family” part of the name very seriously.  This is truly a family business with most of the family involved in some way.  If you check out the webcast I mentioned above, you will meet and hear about most of the family.


It’s been over 40 years since the family founded Caymus in the Napa Valley.  The winery produced their first vintage in 1972, a whopping 240 cases.  The wine sold for the paltry sum of $4.50 a bottle.


For more information on the Wagner Family of wine, please click here.  For more information on just Caymus, click here.



Wagner Family



Their Wines in their words

Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons – a “Napa Valley” and the venerable “Special Selection”.  Both Cabernet bottlings have aromas and flavors which can only be achieved through “hang time” – a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in.  Leaving the fruit to “hang” on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases color, and matures the tannins of the grapes.  The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine’s fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices.  Caymus Cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.


Caymus Special Selection is the flagship wine of the Wagner family and is comprised of the very best barrels of the vintage.  This wine is not produced in difficult years.  Caymus Napa Valley is more representative of a standard Cabernet of Napa Valley, as it is a bit less precocious than the Special Selection, but still delivers big.  Caymus prides itself on producing wines that are as approachable in youth as well at maturity. Both the “Napa Valley” and “Special Selection” Cabernets are produced under the winemaking hand of Chuck Wagner.




Balzac logo


About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.


The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.


The results speak for themselves.


The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.


For more information on Balzac, please click here.




2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary

Caymus isn’t a Cabernet for everyone, but who cares.  If there was only one style of wine made in the world, it would get very boring pretty fast.  The winery wants their wine to be big and rich with velvety tannins and for it to be loaded with flavor.  In this regard, this wine is a 100% success.  The winery allows their grapes to “hang” on the vine for an extended period for the tannins to soften and the flavors to fully develop.


This special vintage called to a new label, even the cork bears the 40th Anniversary insignia.  This is a special vintage for a special wine.  This is the only wine to be twice named as Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year”.  Is that special enough?


This wine has 14.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep, dark, inky ruby red color.  The hypnotizing nose has rich cassis, licorice, warm baking spices, dried herbs, tobacco, blackberries, dried violets and dark chocolate.  This has a fairly full body with moderate velvety tannins and slightly soft acidity.  On the palate rich cassis, dark chocolate and spice jump out first with dried herbs and a floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish is extremely long and full of cassis, chocolate, spice and dried herbs.  This is extremely young but already stunning, give it a couple years in the cellar and be prepared to be wowed.  (94 pts)

2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary

2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary




Closing Thoughts

This was a momentous event to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of an iconic Napa Valley wine.  The family should be proud of their heritage and the pleasure they have brought to the people who have savored their wines.


Speaking about proud, you could easily see the pride in their papa’s eyes when the children talked about their wines.


Here’s to a great 40 years, I for one am looking forward to helping you celebrate number 50.


Cheers to the Wagner family.




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.