Founded in 1986 by former real estate agent Jean Phillips, Screaming Eagle epitomizes low-production, exclusive Napa winemaking. From its whiz-kid winemaker to a decades-long waiting list, here are eight things you need to know about Screaming Eagle.
At the 2000 Auction Napa Valley, a 6-liter Imperial bottle of 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon sold for $500,000. And that’s not the most remarkable thing about the sale.
Normally, when wines fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, they’re European, ultra-rare, and extremely old. That this deep-pocketed bidder was willing to spend half a million dollars for an 8-year-old Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrated the significance of the label — and its category.
The sky-high prices associated with Screaming Eagle come from bottles sold on the secondary market. For a cheaper, three-figure alternative, drinkers can buy directly from the winery’s mailing list, but expect to wait decades for a slot to come up.
The 2008 Screaming Eagle is a model of elegance. Endless layers of sweet, perfumed fruit caress the palate in this captivating, utterly seductive wine. The finesse and silkiness of the tannin is something that is truly unique among the world’s great wines. If Grand Cru Burgundy were made in Napa Valley, it would taste like Screaming Eagle. A delicate, classy finish lets the sheer purity of the fruit come through beautifully here. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. 97RP