2008 Caymus Special Collection Cab Sav, 2014 Caymus Special Collection Cab Sav, 2016 Caymus Cab Sav (left to right)
Small Details Make Amazing Wine - Chuck Wagner has been making Caymus wine for over 45 years. Today Caymus is joined by Conundrum, Emmolo, Mer Soleil, and Red Schooner as the Wagner Family of Wines collection. Chuck's children Charlie and Jenny are heavily involved in the family's winemaking. Charlie produces Mer Soleil and is the Director of Winemaking for the Conundrum line that includes Conundrum White, Red, Sparkling and Rosé. He is also the creator of Red Schooner, a rich, dark Malbec made from grapes grown in the Andes Mountains (Argentina), shipped chilled to Napa Valley and produced in the same style as Caymus. Jenny is winemaker for Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot grown in Napa Valley. A highlight of Taste of Wine and Food's visit was us speaking with Jenny Wagner and Susan Orenstein, Head of Communications. I was amazed by Jenny's love, passion, and detail for wine making which included hand brushing the Sauvignon Blanc to decluster for the perfect number and quality for each cluster. IMPRESSIVE and is what makes Wagner Family Wines so exceptional and was reflected in the reserve 2015 "Plumerai" Sauvignon Blanc sampled with notes of melon. Quantity is limited so get it while you can! We also got to sample the 2015 Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay with Santa Barbara grown fruit. Picking based on acid vs sugar levels (BRIX) results in the wine's crispness as well as the 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir sourced at Santa Lucia Highlands known for gradual ripening of the grapes allowing strong structure, amora, and flavors. We ended our visit with Caymus Cabenet Sauvignon that included the 2016 Napa Valley, 2014 Napa Valley Special Collection, and a library 2008 Napa Valley Special Collection. It was a special treat to experience these three exceptional wines and savor the subtle changes from year to year wine making and mellowing of tannins on the 2008. All three had Caymus' signature dark fruit and cocoa influence.