Monday, June 15, 2015

Caymus Vineyards Webcast Tasting in Raleigh


By Dathan Kazsuk | June 15, 2015
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

The Wagner Family of Wines is something no home should be without. From the ever popular white table wine, Conundrum, to the rich taste of Belle Glos’ Pinot Noir, the Wagner family has been producing incredible wines for more than 40 years. There use to be a time, back in 1972, when one could pick up Caymus' Cabernet Sauvignon for a mere $4.50 a bottle. That’s not the case today, but that same care from over 4 decades still continues on with this family.

On Saturday, June 14, Total Wine hosted a Caymus webcast tasting. With over 2,000 attendees across 68 Total Wine stores Nationwide, wine drinkers got to sample some great vino and hear first hand some unique stories from the Wagner family themselves.


Bottle of Caymus Vineyards' 40th Anniversary2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. 
Each of the 5 wines were paired up with Hors d’ouevres from Raleigh’s The Lunchbox and More.   

Our first wine was Conundrum’s California White Wine. Sure, we’ve all had this great table wine before, which usually runs anywhere between $19-$24. Conundrum, as described by Chuck himself, is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes. This wine was paired with prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe.


Next, Chuck brought in his daughter Jenny to talk about the next wine poured – the Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc. Named after her great-grandfather, Salvatore Emmolo, Jenny crafted up a Sauvignon Blanc with a crisp fruit taste and a strong hint of minerality. Seasoned and aged in French oak barrels and stainless steel, this wine is very versatile. The wine went perfectly with the goat cheese wrapped red grape encrusted in chopped pecans we were served.

Along came Charlie. The eldest of the Wagner children, and probably the most laid-back of the siblings. Charlie introduced everyone to the Mer Soleil Chardonnay. Prepared with an Ahi Tuna Poke with a chili pepper drizzle, this was a perfect combination. Mer Soleil and Silver Chardonnay (Charlie’s other product) both come from the same grape that grows in the Santa Lucia highlands of Monterey County, California. While Mer Soleil is fermented in French oak barrels, the Silver Chardonnay uses both stainless steel and cement tanks for fermentation. 

We were then introduced to Joe, who talked about the next wine poured – Belle Glos “Las Alturas” Pinot Noir. And just like his sister naming the vineyard after a late family member, Joe did the same. Belle Glos honors his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards. The Las Alturas had hints of raspberry and/or blackberries with having just the right balance of earthiness. This wine was paired with a small serving of pork loin with a cherry reduction sauce. One of the better Pinot Noir’s I’ve had in awhile.


The Lunchbox & More paired up 5 appetizers with the 5 wines, including a
pork loin with a cherry reduction sauce and tuna tartar.

Finally, we got to taste what most of us came to the tasting for … the 2012 40th Anniversary Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet. This wine was fruity and smooth, and I’m already thinking of pairing it with a prime-rib in 5-years when I open it for consumption. I was impressed with the complexity of this wine, and believe that Chuck worked hard to leave a rich, ripe taste for the drinkers palate. 

This is the second year in a row that I’ve done this tasting with Jen and our friends David and Meg. And even though it was well worth the $20, I have to favor the event last year a little more. Last year, we tried 5 Wagner wines, and after the webcast was over, the employees at Total Wine opened up another 4 wines similar to what we just tasted. “We’re called Total Wine & More … so here is the MORE!” That afternoon was fun!

Hopefully the Wagner’s will team up with Total Wine in 2015 so we can sample some more great Caymus Family wines.