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1985 Caymus - Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 91 WA
  • 99 WS
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
See all wines from Caymus
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SKU: 45756-1985-750-3A
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 99

    (Wine Spectator awarded it the number two spot in its Top 100 for 1990) Has wonderful herb, tea, currant, black cherry and plum aromas, with rich, complex, tightly knit Cabernet flavors wrapped in ginger, chocolate, vanilla and spice. While the flavors are showy now, they're still years away from reaching full maturity. The tannins are smooth and polished. 1,000 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 91

    Although outstanding, Caymus's 1985 did not live up to expectations in this tasting. It reveals a lavishly oaked, smoky, jammy, blackcurrant-scented nose, sweet, round, glycerin-imbued, full-bodied flavors, and excellent purity, ripeness, and length. Other bottles have been more concentrated and complex, but who's complaining? It was tasted in a flight with the 1985 Spottswoode and 1985 Joseph Phelps Eisele which may have overwhelmed it. The 1985 Caymus Special Selection is fully mature and capable of lasting 10-15 more years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: dbudden
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Transcendant! Ripe and juicy, full and fruity. No verbal skills to get beyond |WOW|--glad we waited all these years to try this one!
    Author: Jenn
Caymus Vineyards was founded in 1972 by the Wagner family in Napa Valley's Rutherford district. The Wagners originally immigrated to the San Francisco Bay area from Alsace in the late 1880s. The winery produces both a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and since 1975, a Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, differentiated by superior fruit and additional barrel aging. The name, Caymus, has dual origins: it is both the name of a subgroup of Mishewal-Wappo Indians that lived near the present-day Yountville, and the name of the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, given to George Yount in 1836, which eventually became the town of Rutherford. The winery maintains 60 acres of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon as well as buys grapes from select Napa Valley growers. The Wagners' goal is to create a balanced wine that is approachable at release, but will improve with bottle age. Caymus takes great care in its vineyard maintenance, farming each block according to the specific needs of its soil type, climate, slope and orientation. The vines are also thinned in order to concentrate the flavor and structure within the grapes. Caymus also produces a white blend called Conundrum, and other small production varietal offerings.

See other similar producers:Abreu Vineyards,Pride Mountain Vineyards,Bryant Family Vineyards

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 349 bottles owned
  • 92 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 95
    (Out of 92 collectors)