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Grand Durif, 2017. Caymus-Suisun

Grand Durif, 2017. Caymus-Suisun

Item #: XR7114W
Vintage: 2017
Varietal: Grand Durif
Vineyard/Appellation: Suisun Valley, California
Color: Deep Purple
Nose: Desert Spice, Blueberry, Cedar
Palate: Black fruits
Finish: Full and Smooth
Rating: 93
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Beef, Lamb, Game Meat/15.4% Alcohol by Volume

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Suisun (su-soon) Valley, which lies to the Southeast of Caymus, is only a 40-minute drive and reminds the Wagner family of Napa Valley 40 years ago. With its warm days and cool nights, the region is known for delicious stone fruits and walnuts - increasingly, it is also gaining recognition for its wine. Durif is synonymous with Petite Sirah, the widely grown grape in the region - they added "Grand" to the name of the Suisun-grown Durif because it has a grand style. With lush textural tannins, this wine is rich, supple and totally enjoyable.

When the Wagner family started Caymus Vineyards 45 years ago, their little town of Rutherford - the center point of the Napa Valley - was a very different place than it is today. People were just beginning to plant grapes instead of more traditional crops like prunes, walnuts and grains. The Valley had no famed restaurants luring people to visit, and traffic on the roads was light. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. With all its natural gifts - from its climate to its farmland to its quiet beauty - "Napa" was still largely undiscovered and felt full of possibility. That same look and feel back in 1972 exists today in a place that is only a 40-minute drive from Rutherford. Suisun (su-soon) Valley lies to the southeast, separated from its more famous neighbor only by a county line. It, too, has a maritime climate, with warm days and cool nights, due to its proximity to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. About one and a half times the size of the Rutherford AVA, the Suisun AVA has rich soils and historically is known for growing stone fruit. The domaine is also ideally suited to growing certain varieties of grapes.

The Wagner family began an in-depth search of "the Suisun" in early 2014 and identified a few top-quality Durif vineyards in the hidden corners of this small picturesque place. As they set their sights on producing a Caymus-style wine from one of the world's heavyweight varieties, they made a promise to themselves that "a new wine bearing the Caymus name would have to be great - or, it would not be bottled."

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