Through a stroke of genius, and happening to constantly praise them via Twitter for having the best wine selection when it comes to Washington wine, I was invited to participate in a tasting and webcast at Total Wine & More on June 14th. This tasting happened to be the Caymus 40th Anniversary tasting. Knowing that I couldn’t possibly spare myself an opportunity such as this, I accepted.
The Caymus/Wagner Family Lineup + a couple extra bonus pours thanks to the kind gentlemen at Total Wine & More, Vancouver
We started the tasting with the 2012 Conundrum White. The Conundrum has a nice balance of peach, tropical fruits and floral notes on the nose while being a lovely balance of acidity and creaminess on the palate. This blend food pairing recommendation is seafood or spicy food, but I’d also serve this with either grilled or BBQ chicken. $22 MSRP.
Next, we went into the 2012 Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc. This is a *GREAT* wine, IMHO. With a lovely mineral nose and a flinty palate with hints of melon, there is a refreshingly clean finish on this wine that makes it go down way too easily. An interesting fact with this is that they brush the clusters while they’re in the pre-bloom stage to prevent any green nuances in the wine. This is a fantastic start for a rookie winemaker! $22 MSRP.
After the Sauvignon Blanc came the 2012 Mersoleil Reserve Chardonnay. This is a barrel fermented Chard and when I saw it was included, I honestly cringed internally because I am, admittedly, the biggest opponent of California-style Chardonnay’s. As much as I am a fan of the 7 Culinary Sins (if you watched Food Network Star season 9, you’ll understand…but if you didn’t, the 7 culinary sins, according to contestant Russell Jackson are sugar, fat, salt, liquor, bacon, ice cream & offal), wine should not taste like you’re snacking on a stick of butter and a handful of oak chips. Sorry. Had to say it. Sorry. But the Reserve Chardonnay blew that idea out of the water! The nose was buttery and inviting with notes of tropical fruits, burnt sugar and butterscotch. The palate brings the tropical fruits and oak to the forefront, but it’s not overwhelming. It is nicely balanced and I think the reason why it is so comes from two reasons. One, they let these grapes have a longer hang time to bring the acid levels in check. Two, while it is barrel fermented, the malolactic fermentation is held to a minimum. $32.00 MSRP
Immediately following the Chardonnay was the 2011 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir. With bright cherries and cranberries on the nose as it opened up, plus the beautiful ruby color, my notes, palate and nose immediately said, “Is this secretly an Oregon Pinot??????” This was a nicely balanced, stunning Pinot that made me want more. $44 MSRP
Finally…we got to the big daddy. The 2012 40th Anniversary Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet. This was opulent to say the least. Ours had been decanted for roughly three hours at the point where we tasted it. There were notes of anise, spice, tobacco and chocolate on the nose and tons of dark berries and tobacco on the palate with nice tannins that delivered a balanced, tart (but not puckering) Napa Cab that has plenty of years left on it. If you read through the twitter feed for this (#caymus40th), you’ll see that everyone who tried this had a different experience, based on if it had been decanted and how long it had been decanted for. The color was best described by Josh Wade of Nectar Tasting Room as “sinfully dark”, as you can see in the picture below. $60.00 MSRP