Rarely do I ever bust out for wines in the price range like that of the 2006 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California. Why? Simple, I never really could afford to. Being able to taste wines from every region and price range without always having to pay for it is a big reason why I pursued and am still pursuing a career in the wine business. With my appetite for palate exploration, I’d have to be rich to sustain myself in the long term. As it is right now, I have to get real creative in finding ways to support our daily consumption.
It was New Years 2009, so its only fitting that we kick down a few more bucks for something a little more special. My parents don’t drink wine as often as us and they don’t usually have the desire to drink the “sour” and “bitter” tasting wines from abroad like we do. They do however tend to enjoy good, domestic, crowd pleasing wines so when trying to determine what would be a good wine for everyone at the table to enjoy together, this wine immediately came to mind. My dad recently had an older vintage 2001 a few weeks before with some business associates and was totally blown away by how good the wine was, so he was very excited to revisit the brand again.
It was amazing how similar the wine tasted to the earlier vintage we had almost ten years ago. The juice was ripe, rich, dense and full of dark berries and plum. Coffee, currants and cassis also made appearances. The nose as we described it in our first bottle, smelled of raw cake batter. I love the smell and taste of raw batter for cakes and cookies. The wine was no doubt very drinkable now, but also built for a little cellar time. Smooth, long and lingering finish.
The Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is mine and Susan’s first real “expensive” wine we ever drank. I believe it was a vintage 1997 or 1998 or somewhere in that arena. We still remember how luscious the wine was. I remember the both of us thinking to ourselves, “I can’t believe red wine can actually be this delicious!” This was early in our drinking days, so we were still slumming around with wines like Bolla Valpolicella and other similar rotgut, so if you’ve had Caymus, you can imagine how blown away we were.
It’s crazy how consistent the Wagner family has been in the past decade with their workhorse Napa Valley bottling. It’s also amazing considering that the wine has an annual case production of a little over 30,000 cases. Sustaining that kind of quality over that period of time is no small feat. It’s probably a good reason why Caymus has been able to sustain a loyal consumer base that look for the wine year in year out. When we had our shop, we sold more of this $60 plus bottle than many $10 bottles of wine in the shop. It was amazing. I’ve met both collectors and novice drinkers alike who love this wine. Caymus has managed to develop a wine with a flavor profile that really appeals to a wide ranging audience.
The wine is usually pretty widely available on release, but many retailers and restaurants run through their inventories pretty fast, so it’s best to frontload your purchases with this wine when they release it in July.