While Caymus Vineyards is a winery known for its excellent (and expensive) Cabernet Sauvignons, they also make a terrific Zinfandel. We tried the 2007 Napa Valley Zinfandel at the winery last year and were impressed enough that we bought a couple of bottles. We opened bottle #1 last Saturday night and the verdict is in: it might just be our favorite Zinfandel that we've enjoyed this year!
First, let's talk about the wine and then we'll make some comparisons.
The nose smelled like an old wine barrel, just inviting you to breathe deeply and take it all in. Zinfandel tends to have a flavor spectrum that runs from peppery to jammy, and this one was definitely peppery with rich black currant flavors and a silky smooth finish. We both agreed this wine earned the vaunted "PFG" designation.
OK, now the comparisons.
We've had some outstanding Zinfandels from Ridge this year. Our favorite was a 2009 Ridge Ponzo Vineyard, which was on the other end of the pepper-to-jammy spectrum. (See "You can't go wrong with a Ridge") We also enjoyed a bottle of 2009 Robert Biale Black Chicken. Biale's wine is always amazing and the 2009 was a stellar year for them.
All good stuff, but somehow the Caymus was our favorite.
Of course, it may have been the recency effect, where you tend to best remember the latest wine you've tried. Fortunately, we have another bottle of the Caymus, another bottle of the Ridge Ponzo Vineyard, and a bottle of 2010 Cuvaison Bald Mountain Zinfandel that will be a nice stand-in for the Biale. Dinner party, anyone?