For a fun insider’s look at the history of Caymus Vineyards, Napa vintner Chuck Wagner brought out the family photo album. From the grainy pictures of Wagner’s enormously mustachioed great-grandfather, who was the first in his family to make California wine in the 1880s (at what is now Ladera Vineyards), to the black-and-whites of a 19-year-old Wagner starting a vineyard on his parents’ walnut and prune farm, to his father, Charlie, on the 1987 Wine Spectator cover calling Caymus “The Best Damn Cabernet in California,” Wagner’s presentation was deeply personal.
He poured the 2005 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Special Selection (94 points, $160)—the wine he said he would choose if someone came over to his house and wanted one of his best. To illustrate how Caymus achieves its high quality, crisp full-color photos detailed their latest vineyard management techniques, from planting vines in tightly spaced rows to watching for berry skins to begin to pucker as a sign that tannins and flavor compounds are fully ripe.
To finish, Wagner turned his focus from the history of the winery to the next chapter. “Like my father, I naturally thought that my children would follow in my footsteps,” said Wagner, as he showed photos of his family tasting together and in the vineyard. And they did: Sons Charlie and Joseph are winemakers at Mer Soleil and Belle Glos, respectively, while one of his daughters, Jenny, works at Caymus. “I’m so proud of that and so very grateful.”
George Gonzalez — San juan — October 24, 2011 11:45pm ET
Ivan S Robles — Jacksonville, FL — October 25, 2011 9:15am ET
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