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Friend Likes Caymus Cabs....What should I get in its' stead?

I'd like to buy a colleague a bottle of wine, for the holidays. He has recently been enjoying cabernets....particularly Caymus.

I'm not a big cabernet drinker; please help me either w/ a decent year for a Caymus Cab (is there a decent year available under $100?) or with a good alternative. $50-$70 range is optimum, but can/will go more....I'm particularly interested in something ready to drink.

Thank you so much...I'm flying blind here!

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  1. The regualr Caymus, not the speical select, usually runs around $60-$70. If you could find a 2001 it would be excellent. Earlier years would be 1997 and 1999 however they may be hard to find and more expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rtmonty

      The 2004 special select runs around $130.

    2. Caymus Vineyards is on the eastern edge of the Rutherford Bench soils zone...

      For a wine most similar to Caymus, substitute another rutherford cabernet. There are so many possibilities... St. Supery, Conn Creek, Quintessa, Frogs Leap, Honig, Groth, Raymond, Sequoia Grove, Turnbull, Franciscan, Freemark Abbey, Phelps, etc. amidst many bigger names like Silver Oak, Opus One, Mondavi, and Beaulieu...

      Among recent years that are ready to drink, 1994, 1995, and 1997 are exceptional. 2001 is another tremendous year, still a bit youngish.

      1. Several Wines from Napa will "Whack" Caymus in a blind tasting for around 50- or less. O4 Caymus is one of the best in years but not up to the fruit levels as the suggestions below:
        04 Parallel 50-
        03 John Anthony 55-
        03 Vine Cliff 37-
        03 Larkmead 40-

        5 Replies
        1. re: russkar

          I spoke with Michelle Truchard of John Anthony today. They are able to ship dierct to my home state of Vermont so I ordered 3 bottles of Syrah and a bottle of the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. They seem like very nice people (Michelle and John) and am looking ofrward to trying their wines.

          1. re: TonyO

            They are wonderful people and deserve the success they are enjoying.
            The John Anthony I refer to in my Post is the CABERNET(don't know if it's still available but it's fantastic, I'm sure the Syrah will be wonderful!
            John's Mom (Mrs Truchard) allowed me to send a check after picking up a case at the Winery several years ago, wow! I sent the check when I returned home to So Cal.

            1. re: russkar

              I understand the Cab will be available in February. Happy Holidays !

              1. re: TonyO

                Thanks, must be the New vintage 04'

                1. re: russkar

                  I believe so. I'll just have to stretch my Owen Roe a little longer !

        2. I think the Caymus Napa is just as good as the Special Select. I know it is when comparing prices. I will drink a case of Caymus Napa before I drink one bottle of Special Select. Buy him the Napa which you should be able to get for about $60.00. If you are in CA here's a link to San Francisco Wine Trading Co. Their 2004 is $65.00. Email Michelle and tell her Henry McCaslin said to give you a discount.


          I would also go with a Etude ($85), Jayson ($55), Peter Michael Les Pavots ($100), La Sirena ($100), Wolf Family ($70), Monticello ($50), Corley ($50), Laders ($65), Karl Lawrence ($45) or Groth ($50) each of which is very deep, bold wine. Good luck.

          1. 2002 Etude would be my hands down choice. Should still be findable for under $85

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiner

              02(tough yr) Etude is nice but the following are bigger and even more approachable for close to half the price?:
              04 Parallel 50-
              03 John Anthony 55-
              03 Vine Cliff 37-
              03 Larkmead 40-
              I've risked my life even talking about Cali Cabs, if anyone finds out I'll have to turn in my Burg Badge.

            2. I'm tempted to disagree with most responses here. I don't think you'd need to substitute a Caymus with another Napa/Rutherford Cab.

              But first... if you DO want an older vintage of Caymus, 2020 Wine Merchants in West L.A. has the 1997... they don't say so on their site but if you call them you can get it. 2020wines.com

              But it sounds to me like your friend likes a good fruit-forward California Cab with good legnth and tannins that are not too austere or present. That's basically what Caymus is all about. Yes, the '04 is their best vintage (for this sort of thing) in years, but for people with a fancy for Caymus, the "Justin Isosceles" is usually even better. It's about a $55-80 dollar wine, depending on where you buy it and what vintage. The 1999, 2001, and 2002 are all great and all ready to drink now. It's a cabernet with obvious fruit-forward character and complexity that satisfies most cal-cab-loving palates.

              1. Thank you all so much! I wound-up ordering a 1995 Conn Creek (based on Chicago Mike's early response -thanks man!) Trouble is, I didn't know that Anthology was their blend (I am naive/didn't research enough/not thinking/whatever)So, I have this blend shipped for about $50...se la vie; I hope my caymus loving friend likes it....

                Thanks again, for all of the response...I will save all of this info, for future reference....much appreciated. -wg

                1 Reply
                1. re: Wanda_Gorgonzola

                  The Conn Creek Anthology is an outstanding wine and the '95 should be very ready to drink. Hopefully it's been stored correctly.