A favourite in steak houses the world over, Caymus has produced its iconic Cabernet Sauvignons since 1972 when the Wagner family decided to start producing wine on their Napa Valley ranch. Named after the massive land grant Rancho Caymus that was awarded to George Yount which encompassed much of the area, Caymus quickly gained recognition for their rich, velvety Cabernet Sauvignon. The Wagner family has a long history of grape growing and winemaking in the Napa area, but it was only with the start of the modern California wine industry did they decide to replant their property in grapes. For many years their grapes went to producers such as Inglenook, it was in 1971 that the Charlie and Lorna asked their high-school aged son if he wanted to make wine with the family crop. In 1975 the Wagners noticed a marked difference in quality from a few barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, they chose to blend and bottle these wines separately calling it “Special Selection”.
The early Cabernets quickly grabbed the attention of the critic community. The Wine Spectator in particular has been fond of Caymus wines, awarding the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon “Wine of the Year” for both the 1984 And 1990 vintages, making the only wine that has won that award twice. Caymus has since expanded from 240 cases in 1972 to 65,000 today, yet these wines have not lost their signature decadence nor concentration. The Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Caymus remains one of the rare family run companies, with the Wagner family still holding most winemaking and leadership positions. Their range of wines has also expanded, adding white and rose wines onto the portfolio in addition to spinoff labels and new projects. Many of their early Cabernet Sauvignons continue age beautifully.