Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews


2014 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Retail Price $180.00

91 Points Wine Spectator

Pure and rich, well-centered on melted black licorice, spice, cedar and dark berry flavors. Deep and complex, if short on finesse and grace, ending with musclebound tannins. Drink now through 2028.

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

Brawny tannins meet mild acidity in this powerful, rich wine that’s full-bodied and decadent. Chocolate, mocha and caramel notes are etched into its soft, rounded layers of generous red fruit.

2013 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

95 Points Wine Spectator

Zeroes in on a rich, hedonistic core of wild berry, blackberry, plum and currant, with a graceful, elegant mouthfeel and supple, caressing tannins leading to a long, powerful and refined aftertaste that keeps reverberating while maintaining a strong personality. Drink now through 2030.

92 Points James Suckling

The full-throttle character is here as expected with lots of ripe fruit and toasted oak. Sage and mint. Silky tannins; the ripe fruit dominates. But it shows form and juiciness. Try it in 2019 as it mellows with age.

2012 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection has a dense blackish/purple color and creamy, sweet crème de cassis fruit, blackberries, a touch of graphite and vanilla, This exuberant, boisterous, in-your-face style of Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly a fruit bomb, so be warned. Full-bodied and opulent with stunning concentration and richness, the wine has no hard edges and is much in the Caymus style of terrific fruit intensity (most of it black and blue), voluptuous texture, and a stunning finish with plenty of glycerin, wood and spice.

The alcohol on the label is listed at 14.8%, which seems about accurate. I have Caymus Special Selection in my cellar back to some of the historic wines made by Chuck Wagner’s father in the early 1970s, and while the style’s gotten more precocious and consumer-friendly, these wines, even the more latter-day styles, have a tendency to age beautifully. This can be drunk now, or cellared for 20+ years.

94 Points Wine Spectator

Exhibits a delicious, up-front core of juicy dark berry, blackberry, black licorice and creamy, toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Appropriately tannic and structured, this is made in a style you can drink now or cellar for up to a decade. Drink now through 2026.

2011 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

A brilliant wine, and one of the stars of the vintage, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection boasts aromas of blueberry pie, blackberries, cassis and white flowers. This full-bodied, velvety textured, delicious 2011 is already drinking well, and should continue to do so for 10-12 years. It is a terrific success for the vintage.

94 Points Wine Spectator

Beautifully crafted, rich, deep, layered, textural and persistent, this offers a range of mocha-laced currant, black licorice, espresso and vanilla bean flavors, gaining depth and complexity on the long, smooth finish. Drink now through 2024.

93 Points James Suckling

This shows so much dark chocolate, tar, blackberries and plums. Toasted oak. Coffee. It’s full-bodied but there is a thick tannic texture. Chewy but juicy and fresh. Better in 2016 but so attractive now.

92 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Saturated dark ruby to the rim! A brooding black hole of a nose, offering aromas of cassis, blackberry, blueberry, violet and licorice. Densely packed and thick but with harmonious acidity framing the intense, youthfully medicinal flavors of dark berries and chocolate mint. The exotic chocolatey oak quality accentuates this glyceral Cabernet’s almost porty character. Finishes with serious building tannins that appear to be supported by the wine’s impressive density. Very ripe for the vintage.

2010 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

98 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2010 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection exhibits an opaque purple color, slightly more toasty oak in the aromatics, and explosive richness on the attack, mid-palate and length. The nose is slightly more restrained than in the regular bottling, but there is no doubting the Special Selection is a cut or two above the Napa bottling when it hits the palate. Extraordinary purity of fruit, creme de cassis, licorice and incense all emerge from this full-bodied, iconic classic. It can be enjoyed now and over the next 25+ years.

96 Points Wine Spectator

A seductive style that’s openly fruity, showing supple plum and black cherry notes, with floral scents and spices, turning creamy and gaining a mocha-espresso-vanilla scent that’s enticing. Finishes with a smooth texture, fine-grained tannins and then another burst of fruit.

93 Points Vinous

The 2010 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is, big, rich, voluptuous and totally sexy. Mocha, chocolate, plums, sweet spices and black cherries jump from the glass in this full-bodied, intense wine. This is one of the more immediate wines of the vintage, but all the elements are very nicely balanced.  

92 Points Wine & Spirits

Heady and polished this is a rich Napa Valley Cabernet focused on sweet black fruit. It’s based on a group of owned and leased vineyards in eight Napa sub AVAs, 75 percent in the valley, the balance on hillsides or higher into the mountains. New French oak comes across in scents of espresso-roast coffee and cedar, while the fruit has blue black depths of plum skin. it’s tight and relatively austere for this style of Napa Valley cabernet, needing bottle age to show its best.

2009 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

97 Points Wine Enthusiast

So delicious now, you can hardly keep your hands off it. Blackberry tart, ripe blueberry, cassis, milk chocolate, licorice and sweet, smoky cedar flavors flood the mouth, dramatically huge and memorable, and lasting long into the finish. The tannins are obvious, but sweetly ripe and soft. A brilliant evocation of Napa Cabernet, despite a high production level of nearly 30,000 cases, which is about the same size as a Bordeaux first growth. Shows the class and potency this bottling has exhibited for many years, and believe it or not, the price is a relative bargain these days. Drink now–2020.

93 Points Wine Spectator

Temptingly rich and layered, with complex mocha, plum and wild berry fruit that’s spicy and aromatic. Full-bodied, gaining depth and turning ever more elegant and detailed, with tannins that give this traction. Drink now through 2019.

91 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

High in ripeness and generously enriched by scads of creamy, somewhat caramelly, slightly toasty oak, this full and complete wine from Caymus does a masterful job of delivering lots of concentrated currant fruit tinged with notes of blueberry and root beer. It is supple and a tad fleshy in feel and takes full advantage of its ample tannins for some needed spine that serves as an offset to its never-say-die, lengthy fruit on the palate. Put it away for five to ten years.

2008 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

98 Points James Suckling

This is mind-blowing on the nose with sweet tobacco, chocolate, cedar, cigar box, and licorice. Full-bodied and round with a bright and velvety tannin structure. Starts off slow, but then flies away. This is fabulous. Intense finish. Delicious today, but will be even better after 2013.

94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is the first example of this cuvee to include Merlot (about 14%) in the blend. The Merlot component has given the wine a cocoa/chocolate nuance to its black currant, licorice-infused fruit. The tannins are velvety soft and the wine is beautifully textured and full-bodied. It is ideal for drinking now and over the next 15 years.

94 Points Wine Spectator

Beautifully crafted, rich, intense and powerful, yet supple, graceful and polished, offering a generous core of spicy blackberry, black licorice, wild berry and light cedary notes. Full-bodied and expressive, this is both approachable now and sure to improve for several years. Drink now through 2020.

92 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

In the full-blown style adopted by this wine some time ago, this newest version is rich, deep, full of concentrated black cherry and currant aromas and filled out at every stop by creamy, caramelly oakiness that might have been a bother if the fruit were not so very convincing. Full in body, fleshy in feel, viscous to the max on the palate, this wine is no shrinking violet, and while there will be those who find it somewhat over the top, it will be welcomed as a first-rate success by those who like a little heft in their wines. It is sure to reward years of cellaring.

2007 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

96 Points Wine Spectator

A firm, ripe, muscular wine that’s tight, deep, structured, intense and concentrated, serving up a mix of ripe currant, cassis, plum, black cherry and blackberry fruit that’s clean, pure, complex and layered, with touches of anise, cedar and black licorice. Ends with chewy tannins.

95 Points James Suckling

Seductive nose of blueberries, mulberries, mint, tar, cinnamon, and cloves. Full bodied, with a firm tannin structure. Very round and polished with a firm long finish. Layered and beautiful.

93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2007 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection (100% Cabernet Sauvignon, now bottled earlier than in the past) exhibits an inky/blue/purple color in addition to sweet aromas of cassis, graphite, licorice, tobacco leaf and toasty oak. Bold, flamboyant and opulent, it should drink well for 15+ years.

93 Points Vinous

Bright, full ruby. Very sexy nose combines blackberry, plum, mocha, graphite and black pepper, plus a suggestion of reduction. Very suave and fine-grained, showing an attractive restrained sweetness as well as a slightly wild aspect to its plum, dark berry and licorice flavors. The slight reductive quality carries through on the palate but this wonderfully silky wine blossomed dramatically with 24 hours in the recorked bottle to offer more pliant, exotic flavors of dark berries and chocolate. Finishes with ripe, dusty tannins and terrific length. A bit powerful in a 2007 way but finishes with excellent grip. This is probably not going to be a 30-year-wine but give it some aeration if you plan to open it anytime soon

2006 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

94 Points Wine Spectator

Complex, riveting aromas of spice, cola and sassafras join wild berry, spice, black cherry and sage notes in this full-bodied, intensely flavored, tightly focused and very persistent display of fruit that’s long and lingering.

94 Points James Suckling

Fabulous aromas of sweet tobacco, dark fruits, and dark chocolate. Full bodied and soft, with lovely velvety tannins and a long fruity finish. Nice subtlety. This is ready to go today. Why wait? Find the wine.

92 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

Both of the Caymus Cabernets reviewed in this issue embrace unabashed ripeness as a defining trait, but, in this instance, the wine’s rush to ripeness is balanced by a wealth of very sweet oak and well-extracted fruit. Plush and full-bodied and shot through with cassis and cocoa, the wine more than makes up in richness for what it may lack in finesse, and its slight edge of last-minute heat is easy enough to forgive. Fans of unabashedly expressive Cabernets will find lots to like here.

2005 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection is made in the classic Caymus style that Chuck Wagner has perfected, seemingly so easily. It’s a big, ripe Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (as it should be) coming in at 15.2% natural alcohol. This has gorgeous notes of fig, plum, blackberry, cassis, with no real oak showing through, at least at age ten. Low in acidity, opulent, sexy and fresh, it is indeed a beverage of pleasure, and Chuck Wagner certainly knows how to deliver it in spades. This full-bodied, juicy Cabernet Sauvignon will age easily for another 10-15 years, but why wait? It is that stunning at present.

94 Points Wine Spectator

Firm, intense and well-structured, with a mix of spicy oak, red and black currant, mineral, sage and dusty berry. Turns elegant and refined, yet shows a sturdy backbone on the finish.

2004 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

97 Points Wine Enthusiast

Beautiful wine, lush and soft in the style of this warm vintage. It’s immediately enjoyable for the wealth of cherries, blackberries and raspberries, with a decadent edge of melted milk chocolate. Oak adds extra dimensions of smoky vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and gingerbread. Those who think they don’t like red wine will enjoy. Hard to tell if it has the stuffing for the long haul, but it’s gorgeous now and for the next six years.

95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Even richer and fuller than the regular bottling, but at the same time hedonistically and voluptuously styled is the 2004 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection. Dense ruby/purple with low acidity and huge amounts of fruit, this is a seamless, full-bodied, classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 15-18 years.

94 Points Wine Spectator

A superb Cabernet that’s ripe, plush and deeply concentrated, with tiers of currant, plum, blackberry and spicy, cedary oak. Firmly tannic, lively and deep, revealing extra flavor nuances on the long, engaging finish.

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

This deep and wonderfully rich wine is as involving and has as much succulent fruit at its heart as any wine in this Issue, and it gains more richness yet by way of its absolutely lavish appointment of oak. It is, however, far more than a pretty face or fancy façade, and it sports the serious structure and evident tannins of a wine meant for age.

91 points Vinous

Deep, bright ruby. Alluring aromas of dark berries, coffee, truffle and smoky oak. Plush, pliant and sweet, with a liqueur-like quality to its black fruit flavors that’s nicely counterpointed by harmonious ripe acidity. At once generous and juicy on the mid-palate. Not hugely complex today, and a touch warm on the finish, but this concentrated, ripely tannic wine will evolve further in the bottle.

2003 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

 96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Current vintages of the luxury cuvee, the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection, are bottled much earlier than in the past and they remain one of Napa’s most classic Cabernets. The 2003’s opaque purple color suggests a wine much younger than ten years of age. Copious amounts of creme de cassis, graphite, spice box and a whiff of new saddle leather result in a classic, authoritative, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with no hard edges. This big, mouthfilling, textured, multidimensional Cabernet still tastes like an adolescent, and is capable of lasting another 15-20 years. Some tannins are present, but their sweetness along with the wine’s voluptuous character are irresistible.

93 Points Wine Spectator

Supple and harmonious, with rich, fleshy currant, blackberry, herb, mocha and dill. Picks up momentum and holds onto a tight focus through the long, satisfying finish, where the tannins are rich and intense, boding well for short- to mid-term cellaring.

93 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Young and dense, almost misleading in its soft fruitiness, but there’s tremendous power, and despite the appearance of approachability, it would be a mistake not to cellar this wine. It’s explosive in fruit and berry flavors, and the tannins are so melted, you could easily open it tonight. But this is a wine with proven ageability. Should begin to mature by 2010 and drink well through 2020, at least. 

91 Points Wine & Spirits

Finely made, this smooth and smoky cabernet has lasting herbal notes and fresh blueberry flavor. The soft tannins make the wine accessible now with a steak; several years in the cellar will allow more complex flavors to develop.

90 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

Extravagant oak lends an especially seductive sense of richness to every aspect of this very rich and outgoing wine, but beneath its layers of vanilla, cocoa and cream and cedar, their lies a nice measure of sweet, unmistakable curranty fruit. The wine is fairly rounded and accessible given its relative youth, and shows little of the austerity or tannic bite that often comes with Cabernets of its tender age.

2002 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

This stunning, inky/plum/purple-tinged 2002 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection boasts a glorious fragrance of creme de cassis, licorice, toasty oak, spice box, cassis and vanillin. Full-bodied, opulent, flashy and irresistible, this endearing, plush, exuberant, opulent Cabernet Sauvignon is 3-5 years away from full maturity, yet it is already complex and rewarding. It should last for another two decades.

91 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

Being a bit riper than one might expect of a Caymus Cabernet, this expansive bottling is both impressively concentrated and still somewhat direct and waiting to unfold into greater richness and range. Its curranty fruit and loamy, coffee and creamy oak notes all add to its promise, but what is lacking for the moment is any of the immediacy that would mark it for near-term drinking even though that is the part of what the winery was seeking when it made the wine in a riper style. Its focus is spot on and its depth is without question…

91 Points Wine Enthusiast

This young wine is fairly tough now, and the fruit is hiding behind the oak and tannins. Like many keepers, it’s in a trough, and will go through its ups and downs. Eventually, the cherries and blackberries should emerge, but it doesn’t seem like one of the great Special Selections.

2001 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Caymus has been around for so long there is a tendency to under-estimate their wines. However, they have a brilliant track record as evidenced by the decade old 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection. Abundant chocolaty, black currant, licorice and coffee aromas soar from the glass of this perfumed wine. It exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, wonderful opulence, a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel, fabulous depth and not a hard edge to be found. While seemingly fully mature, the supple tannins, expansive fruit and glycerin, depth and overall balance.

93 Points Connoisseurs Guide

If generally among the richest Cabernets of the year, Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings are also among the most outgoing and obvious as well, and this latest very much proves the rule. Immensely oaky, but brought into balance by an equal measure of deep and dramatic fruit, the wine is laced with sweet spice and loamy complexities and is both concentrated and keenly focused from beginning to end. Its fine-grained tannins are so well woven as to be nearly unnoticeable, but they provide just the right spine and insurance for age. Three to five years should make a great thing better, and that many more may show this one at its best.

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

A lush textured wine that shows gobs of blackberry, cherry, plum, coffee, spice, herb and anise flavors, all framed in firm, ripe tannins. The finish is long, with a spicy edge. Quite intense and full-on.

93 Points Wine Spectator

Aging very well, with ripe, juicy wild berry, jam and spice. Full-bodied and persistent, gaining velocity and depth, impressive for its vibrancy and focus.

2000 Caymus Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Reviews

93 Points Wine Enthusiast

A bright-edged wine, redolent of Bing cherry, raspberry, blackberry, anise, spice, cedar and herb flavors. Tannins are powdery, firm and ripe. They frame the wine in a toasty embrace, ending with a plush finish. Consistently a benchmark from the heartland of California Cabernet.

92 Points Wine Spectator

Richly flavored and beautifully crafted, with well-defined currant, cassis, blackberry and plummy Cabernet flavors that are mouthcoating, finishing with intricate coffee, mocha and pencil lead flavors. Big, ripe tannins are firm but polished.