The Art Of Wine And Cigars

Distinguished and In Demand, Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is the Product of One Family's dogged Determination

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Chuck applies the same premium on quality to the cigars he smokes. "One inch of a bad one--and you've got to put it down." That's why he prefers Cuban cigars. "I don't know if other cigar regions will find the magic of Cuba," he sighs, wistfully.

Nonetheless, Wagner appreciates variety in a smoke. "I don't know anyone who enjoys just one cigar or just one wine." Where does he get his Cubans? "Everyone has his sources," the winemaker responds coyly. "I don't smoke them daily, but I enjoy them regularly."

With Napa Valley as his backdrop, Chuck Wagner's regular smoke would be the envy of most cigar aficionados. "My favorite memory is of a Montecristo No. 2 Cabinet selection , a torpedo," he says. The winemaker describes a quiet evening on his porch by the vineyard that has been so good to him. The cool night air, the whispering vines and the history under his feet conspired with the flavors of the gently burning torpedo. "It was truly a great cigar," he remembers. "Kind of like that great bottle of Burgundy that you can never find." Clearly, Wagner has found his niche in the world of wine. It, too, is filled with superlatives.

Jeff Morgan is the West Coast Editor for Wine Spectator magazine.

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