When the Wagner family started Caymus Vineyards 45 years ago, their little town of Rutherford - the center point of the Napa Valley - was a very different place than it is today. People were just beginning to plant grapes instead of more traditional crops like prunes, walnuts and grains. The Valley had no famed restaurants luring people to visit, and traffic on the roads was light. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. With all its natural gifts - from its climate to its farm land to its quiet beauty - "Napa" was still largely undiscovered and felt full of possibility.
That same look and feel back in 1972 exists today in a place that is only a 40-minute drive from Rutherford. Suisun (su-soon) Valley lies to the southeast, separated from its more famous neighbor only by a county line. It, too, has a maritime climate, with warm days and cool nights, due to its proximity to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. About one and a half times the size of the Rutherford AVA, the Suisun AVA has rich soils and historically is known for growing stone fruit. The domain is also ideally suited to growing certain varieties of grapes. The Wagner Family searched high and low for vineyards growing grapes on a level worthy of bearing the Caymus name.
The Wagner family began an in-depth search of "the Suisun" in early 2014 and identified a few top-quality Durif vineyards in the hidden corners of this small picturesque place (Durif is synonymous with Petite Sirah). As they set their sights on producing a Caymus-style wine from one of the world's heavyweight varieties, they made a promise to themselves that the new wine bearing the Caymus name would have to be great - or, it would not be bottled. We are pleased to announce that this wine has made the grade!
Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif features a deep, majestic purple, with a nose of blueberries, wet earth and saddle leather. The initial impression on the palate is broad, smooth and weight, then springs into gear with rich and harmonious tannins. The key notes of this wine are the lush textural tannins that push the limits on arrogance yet also display friendly supple qualities. It's truly difficult to explain its singular style - firm structure yet super-abundant fine textural softness. Oak plays a significant roll in providing a vanilla character. This wine can be enjoyed now, though it is still quite a baby.
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Dark and plush, this combines structure with polish, offering notes of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled herb and toasty spice that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025."