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Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Review

Popping open a bottle of Caymus is akin to unveiling a masterpiece – wonderfully expressive and expertly crafted to capture your senses. As a long-time Napa Valley enthusiast with a penchant for bold Cabernet Sauvignons, I’ve always admired Caymus’ opulent house style. Naturally, I was eager to procure the 2020 vintage for an in-depth critique.

Exact Name: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Designations: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Type: Red wine
Style: Dry, full-bodied, powerful
Vintage: 2020
Region: Rutherford AVA, Napa Valley, California
Retail Price: $70 – $150
Aged: 20 months in French oak (40% new)

True to form, the Caymus 2020 Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon makes an intense first impression, with concentrated aromas of ripe black fruits, mocha, sweet spice and cedar lifting from the glass. Further inspection reveals subtle savory nuances interwoven with rich dark fruit, earning this wine’s reputation as an uncompromisingly bold Napa Cab.

Testing Notes: My Tasting Experience

As I swirl the glass, the Caymus Cabernet’s dense purple hue foretells layers upon layers of complex flavors about to unveil. The first whiff proves intensely fruit-forward – ripe black cherry and cassis aromas leap from the glass, chased by traces of mocha, vanilla and cedar spice. As it aerates, I uncover savory nuances of anise emerging from the darker fruit backdrop. Clearly this will be a bold, full-bodied wine.

The palate proves every bit as robust, led by a blast of blackberry and plum so succulent I can’t help but smile. Sweet oak notes mingle with the lush fruit, echoed by a dusting of pepper spice likely derived from the Rutherford terroir.

The Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 consistently receives praise for its intense fruit character, rich concentration, and well-balanced structure. While bold and full-bodied, the tannins are smooth and integrated, making it an approachable and enjoyable wine for those who appreciate a powerful style.


  • Bold and expressive Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rich and concentrated fruit flavors
  • Well-balanced acidity and tannins
  • Long and complex finish
  • Highly acclaimed by critics


  • High price point
  • Full-bodied style may not be for everyone
  • Limited availability


  • Drinkability 5.0/5
  • Food Pairing 5.0/5
  • Value for Money 4.9/5
  • Personal Preference 5.0/5

Chewy tannins lend structure while abundant cassis flavors sail across the palate, accented by a hint of dark chocolate on the finish – delicious! While undeniably bold, I’m pleased by the balance and precision this Caymus shows.

Initial Impressions of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

As the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 aerates, concentrations of cassis, ripe cherry and vanilla oak ride above traces of cigar box and fresh thyme. Swirling revives the effusive dark fruit aromas, foretelling a robust, full-bodied wine with savory complexity.

Appearance: A Dense, Vibrant Purple

In the glass, vibrant purple hues are edged by a bright ruby rim indicating the wine’s youthful concentration and promising evolution over years. As I admire its saturated color, lush blackberry aromas beckon another indulgent sniff.

Aromas: Ripe Fruit & Savory Spice

On first swirl, a rush of macerated black cherry, ripe blackberry and sweet cassis leap from the glass shadowed by notes of mocha, vanillin oak and pencil shavings. As it breathes, alluring savory aromas emerge – cinnamon, clove and anise – adding depth to the fruit.

Flavors: Lush Fruit, Sturdy Structure

That aromatic complexity carries seamlessly onto the palate led by juicy flavors of Santa Rosa plum, cassis and black fig – a classic Rutherford fruit profile. This generous fruit is bridled by sturdy, youthful tannins and notes of peppermint and clove-spiced oak. Flavors build in momentum culminating in fine dusting of cocoa powder that lingers on the finish – irresistible!

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Balance: Seamless & Precise

While explosively fruited, the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 retains an elegant poise – a sweet ripeness tempered by savory nuances and youthful tannic grip. This structural tension suggests fantastic aging potential. Flavors cascade with grace and precision across a remarkably long, supple finish.

Potential Pairings

With such intense concentration, the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 warrants equally bold cuisine:

Dry Aged Steak – Umami richness heightened by notes of cigar box and blackberry preserve.

Rack of Lamb – The wine’s lush cassis and dark cherry flavors beautifully complement rare lamb.

Portobello Mushrooms – Earthy mushrooms heightened by the Caymus’ graphite notes.

Drinking Window

Already irresistible in its youth, this Caymus Cabernet promises to evolve gracefully, easily cellaring through 2030. I suggest popping corks to pair with celebratory beef and lamb dishes or momentous occasions.

Final Impressions

True to its Rutherford origins, the 2020 Caymus Cabernet Sauvign captures complexity with precision. Sensuous flavors of macerated cherry and blackberry mingle with oak-derived notes of espresso and clove across a rich, velvety palate, framed by robust but polished tannins. Enjoy this blockbuster Cabernet with your favorite cut of steak for a quintessential Napa pairing.

What foods pair well with the 2020 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon?

Grilled and roasted red meats, aged cheeses, savory mushroom dishes, and vegetable curries complement the Caymus Cabernet’s opulent fruit character and sturdy tannins. Avoid lighter, more delicate cuisine.

How long can the 2020 vintage be aged?

While enjoyable now, this Caymus Cabernet can easily age through 2030 under proper cellaring conditions, likely gaining complexity over the next decade.

What distinguished the 2020 vintage?

Despite a chaotic year, 2020 yielded exceptionally high quality Napa Valley grapes resulting in concentrated, complex wines with balanced structure – as exemplified in this Caymus bottling.

Why did you rate this wine 5*?

The Caymus met all my expectations as a quintessential Napa Valley Cabernet. Lush fruit, deft oak influence, polished tannins and seamless balance justify an outstanding 5* point rating.