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 2016 Screaming Eagle is, as usual, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bright, exuberant blackberries, kirsch and warm blackcurrants scents plus touches of lavender, roses, tilled black loam, wild sage and dark chocolate with wafts of yeast extract, underbrush and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, firm and fine grained, with amazing freshness, it is layered with crunchy black and red fruits, sparked by floral and mineral notions and finishing with epic length and depth. 100RP