Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyards is a California wine estate producing limited amounts of varietal wine; due to the small quantities produced and high prices commanded, their wines are considered cult wines. The winery is located in Oakville, California, north of the town of Napa in the Napa Valley.
Jean Phillips, a former real estate agent, bought the 57 acre Oakville vineyard in 1986 which was planted to a mix of varieties, most of which Phillips sold to various Napa wineries except the 1-acre (4,000 m2), approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. For this one acre of Cabernet, Philips sought the opinions of Robert Mondavi Winery employees on the commercial potential of her wine before hiring Richard Peterson as a consultant, and subsequently met Peterson's daughter, Heidi Peterson Barrett, who became Screaming Eagle's first winemaker. The entire vineyard was replanted in 1995 to three varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc. The 1992 vintage, released in 1995, through a combination of very low production numbers and highly positive reviews (wine critic Robert Parker awarded the wine 99 points), resulted in Screaming Eagle becoming one of the most celebrated and expensive wines in the Napa Valley.
On March 17, 2006 the estate was sold to Stanley Kroenke and Charles Banks. Phillips disclosed the sale in a letter to Wine Spectator, saying she received an offer she couldn't refuse. In a letter to clients, Phillips stated, "they will renovate old structures or build new ones and replant the vineyard. The new owners have exciting plans to keep it small but raise the bar on quality." Three years later, in April 2009, Charles Banks left Screaming Eagle leaving Stan Kroenke as the sole proprietor. Armand de Maigret is the Estate Manager.
The vineyard area extends 48.21 acres (19.51 ha), planted with varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc , and a small amount of Sauvignon blanc. The vineyards are managed by David Abreu Vineyard Management and tended to by vineyard foreman Jorge Delgado and his team. In 2006 34 acres were replanted. The annual production ranges from 400 to 750 cases (between 5,000 and 9,000 750ml bottles). The winemaker is Nick Gislason and Michel Rolland is a consultant.
Wine Advocate #209 Oct 2013 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Utter perfection, the 2010 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon (a 610-case blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc; 14.5% natural alcohol) boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with a staggering bouquet of spring flowers, graphite, creme de cassis, kirsch, licorice and subtle toast in the background. Opulent and full-bodied with a multidimensional personality, gorgeous purity and a stunning, flawless texture, this spectacular wine is among the wines of the vintage.
Under the ownership of Stan Kroenke, this vineyard has been replanted and a new cellar has been constructed. The production of Screaming Eagle has remained between 700-1,000 cases, and a second wine, the Second Flight, includes 520-800 cases. The introduction of a second wine is an attempt to keep Screaming Eagle at its mythical level of quality. This vineyard, situated on the valley floor at the Oakville Crossroads across the road from the Rudd Estate, encompasses 60 acres, but only a small percentage is used for these two cuvees. Based on the three vintages I tasted, it appears the Second Flight wines include much less Cabernet Sauvignon and more Merlot than the flagship Screaming Eagle.
JS: James Suckling
BV: Bidvino Staff
RP: Robert Parker
WS: Wine Spectator
JH: James Halliday
JR: Jancis Robinson
WE: Wine Enthusiast
DM: Decanter Magazine
JD: Jeb Dunnuck
2010 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon
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