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 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Screaming Eagle is another wine with 100-point potential. The final blend was 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot. Its deep blue/purple color reveals even more intensity than the 2012’s. Extraordinary precision and freshness characterize this full-bodied, opulent, massive wine that will probably be slightly more closed than the 2012. What a back-to-back pair of vintages! I assume one would have to go back to 2002 and 2001 to find two Screaming Eagles this compelling. The 2013 appears set for 25-30 years of longevity. 98-100RP