Blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals a medium to deep garnet-purple color and nose of crushed blackberries, black cherries and wild blueberries with notions of fragrant earth, garrigue, lavender, Sichuan pepper and dried leaves. Medium-bodied with signature elegance and finesse, it’s the incredibly fine, oh-so-pixelated tannins that help to define the signature of this vineyard, beautifully supporting the elegant fruit, finishing with great poise. This is a very sensuous, pensive style and not for those seeking a full-on blockbuster but rather will greatly pleasure lovers of wines with quiet intensity and subtle depth. Note that this was a tank sample, due to be bottled within a week. . Barrel Sample: 98–100 Points
The 2015 Screaming Eagle is fabulous. Rich and ample on the palate, with soaring aromatics from the Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Ripe red plum, pomegranate, mint, kirsch, lavender and sweet spice notes are beautifully delineated in the glass. In this tasting, the Cabernet-based Screaming Eagle is quite a bit more open and accessible than the Merlot-based The Flight. Even so, it will be years before the 2015 Screaming Eagle is ready to drink.
"A winemaker never, never changes the character of a wine. The character comes from the grapes."
- Michel Rolland, consulting winemaker
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 1-acre, approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, which she kept for herself. Heidi Peterson Barrett, who became Screaming Eagle's first winemaker, joined the team for the 1992 vintage.
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.
In March of 2006, the estate was sold to Charles Banks and Stanley Kroenke. Kroenke is now the sole owner of the property. The annual production ranges from 400 to 750 cases (between 5,000 and 9,000 750ml bottles). The vineyards are managed by David Abreu. The current winemaker is Nick Gislason with the world-renowned Michel Rolland as a consultant.
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