In 1971 Charles F. (Charlie) Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son Charles J. (Chuck) Wagner, if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery. If Chuck declined the offer, Charlie and Lorna were planning to sell their ranch in Napa Valley and move to Australia.
I’m guessing there are a few folks who are glad Chuck accepted their offer, launching one of California’s most iconic wineries, Caymus Vineyards – the only winery ever to win Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Wine of the Year” twice.
Taking their name from the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, which encompassed what eventually became the town of Rutherford and the surrounding area, the Wagners produced their first vintage in 1972. From humble beginnings of just 240 cases a year, Caymus has continually focused their efforts on the production of quality Cabernet Sauvignon creating 65,000 cases today – still remaining 100% family-owned by the Wagners.
2012 was a very special year for Caymus. Not only was it the 40th anniversary of the winery, but it also yielded a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which Chuck Wagner himself is calling the best wine he’s ever made. Don’t just take his word for it either. Wine-guru Robert Parker described the vintage as:
“spectacular…the resulting wines are exactly what we have come to expect from top years in Napa Valley – exuberant and boisterous, filled with oodles of ripe fruit, exceptional purity and fleshy, succulent, mouthfilling, crowd-pleasing personalities of considerable character and richness. The low acidity, sweet tannins and high, but not excessive, alcohols have resulted in a great vintage that appears to be a no-brainer when it comes to consumers interest.”
and awarded a whopping 96 points. Yeah, ninety six. In just three weeks time, you’ll have the fantastic opportunity to sample this wine (and more) at two great SLC wine-focused businesses:
BTG Wine Bar
Tuesday June 3rd
Full details on our calendar
Fresco Italian Cafe
Wednesday June 4th
Full details on our calendar
In addition to the opportunity to sample the knockout 2012 vintage, you’ll also be able to sample new releases of Belle Glos “Clark & Telephone” Vineyard Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2013, the debut of Caymus Merlot project “Emmolo”, made by Chuck Wagner’s daughter Jenny, as well as a host of other delicious treats. Both Francis Fecteau (local Caymus distributor from Libation) and Mike Gioia (Caymus Vineyards) will be on hand from to discuss these great wines.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.