Wine of the Week: Caymus Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

"Life is an experience, a Cigar or a bottle of great wine or scotch is there to punctuate that experience." ~ Chuck Wagner

Yes, the worldwide celebration of Cabernet Sauvignon grape has come and gone once again, and it's time to celebrate this beauty today on Wine Wednesday, as the highly coveted "wine of the week" with much-ballyhooed fanfare. Tasting this wine, got me thinking (dangerous I know) about the compelling examples of the artists whose canvas is something other than a tightly woven fabric or a slab of yet to be carved marble. If you think about it for just a moment, art can also be expressed in many ways, even in a beautiful bottle of vino; like the Caymus Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, you see in the picture above.

Consider if you would for just a moment, the comments from Mr. Chuck Wagner who offered up his salient thoughts about Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in general. I was reading an old interview he did with Cigar Aficionado long ago, but his words still ring as true today, as they did then "We continue to look at Bordeaux (for inspiration), but we don't try to emulate what they do there; we try to make wine in our own style." He went on to say relating to the topic at hand, "A good cigar is like a great wine; once you finish a glass, it calls you back for another." I couldn't agree more with the message he was attempting to convey there, Napa is Napa, Bordeaux is Bordeaux, get over the idea of two ever being the same.

The Caymus 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent representation of the power and elegance that a Napa Cab can deliver. Immediately after it was decanted the aromas escaping from the decanter thrilled me like the coming attraction of a summer blockbuster movie. This wine is a velvet rope of ripe sophistication; seldom encountered in wines in lower price points (SRP $89 most places) dark ripe fruit, like blackberry, baked blueberry and a vein of black licorice.

The finish is long and penetrates deep down, to the core of your palate. Go-go Rutherford fruit, wow, wham-bam thank you, ma'am, this is how you do it. Pure hedonism without apology, a bottle of wine to delight the senses and for those who simply like to indulge their passions for living large. It has the stuffing [great structure] to hang around for many years but is immediately approachable after a bit of recommended decanting. This wine makes my point so much more eloquently than I could with my words; you can pay more, but you won't get more. My score on this wine is 96 points; what are you waiting for go get yourself a few bottles or better yet a case of this real "crowd-pleaser."

Consider for a moment the statement above from Mr. Wagner; it reveals a salient point that I think SO many flat-out runs by, trips over and misses completely. When I hear some folks talk about old world vs. new world vino styles and how those differences define one style as being so much better than the other. But, I think what he's trying to say in wine terms is; stay true to yourself and don't try to be something you are not. He really brings the point home by quoting Gore Vidal who once said; "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

I'll raise a glass to that philosophy and also agree that when it comes to producing wine in the Napa Valley, yes, look to Bordeaux for 'inspiration,' but to emulation, I say no. Until next time folks, remember life is short, don't settle for commodity wines, explore, taste and enjoy each moment you have, because you never know when it will be the last cork you pop, my hope for each one you are to sip long and prosper cheers!


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