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.
Composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the very deep purple-black colored 2015 Screaming Eagle leaps from the glass with notes of freshly crushed black currants, black cherries and blackberries with suggestions of cigar box, black raspberries, red currants, chocolates, pencil lead and cast-iron pan plus a touch of potpourri. Medium to full-bodied with a rock-solid backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, it features the most incredible black and red fruit layers and finishes with incredible vibrancy and depth. 100RP