2001 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, USA

2001 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, USA

Product: 20018115681
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2001 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, USA

Description

The last time I had this wine, it seemed much more developed, youthful and approachable. This particular bottle, which was pulled from my cellar, was super-powerful, dense and concentrated, as well as structured and backward. Aeration helped somewhat, but this looks like a very long-lived wine, and my initial suggestion of an anticipated maturity date (2010-2025) should be changed to 2015-2035. Only 450 cases were made of this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc from former proprietor Jean Phillips’ vineyards just south of the Oakville crossroads. The spectacular dense blue/purple color remains opaque. The wine displays the hallmark creme de cassis, floral and licorice notes that are so pure, vivid and intense, and which have always been part of this vineyard’s classic trademark. With great purity, a full-bodied mouthfeel and even more thickness, power and density than I remember, this wine has put on weight, developed more structure, and looks like a candidate for 30 more years of aging potential. This is a brilliant wine, much in keeping with the legendary status of this producer.

Drink 2015 - 2035

Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (May 2011)

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Bottle (75cl)
 x 3
£14,400.00  (£4,800 p/b)
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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate99/100
Wine Advocate99/100

The last time I had this wine, it seemed much more developed, youthful and approachable. This particular bottle, which was pulled from my cellar, was super-powerful, dense and concentrated, as well as structured and backward. Aeration helped somewhat, but this looks like a very long-lived wine, and my initial suggestion of an anticipated maturity date (2010-2025) should be changed to 2015-2035. Only 450 cases were made of this blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc from former proprietor Jean Phillips’ vineyards just south of the Oakville crossroads. The spectacular dense blue/purple color remains opaque. The wine displays the hallmark creme de cassis, floral and licorice notes that are so pure, vivid and intense, and which have always been part of this vineyard’s classic trademark. With great purity, a full-bodied mouthfeel and even more thickness, power and density than I remember, this wine has put on weight, developed more structure, and looks like a candidate for 30 more years of aging potential. This is a brilliant wine, much in keeping with the legendary status of this producer.

Drink 2015 - 2035

Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (May 2011) Read more

About this WINE

Screaming Eagle

Screaming Eagle

Screaming Eagle is one of the original Californian "cult wines". Proprietor Jean Philips never dreamt that her wine would be so sought after, when in 1992, after years of selling grapes to Napa Valley wineries, she decided to find out if her home-made wine, created in a plastic trash can, was any good. She took a sample down to Robert Mondavi where they thought enough of her dark, rich, cassis-flavoured Cabernet to encourage her to bottle it, though they snickered at her proposed name. The rest is history.

Screaming Eagle's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is ideally situated. The soil is virtually a rock pile on a gentle, west-facing slope east of the Napa River. Drainage and exposure are excellent. The property is at a point in the valley where the weather is hot enough during the day to ripen Cabernet to its optimum, yet the grapes are cooled by the afternoon breezes that blow north from San Pablo Bay.

Only 500 cases a year of Screaming Eagle are produced under the direction of winemaker Heidi Peterson Barret. The resulting wines are brimming with deep, plush layers of flavour, echoing currant, cassis, blackberries and black cherry. The tannins are soft, round and polished, yet firm enough to give every indication that Screaming Eagle wines will age beautifully for 10 to 20 years.

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Napa

Napa

North Coast's Napa Valley is California's most famous viticultural area (AVA), claiming some of the most expensive agricultural land in the world and producing wines of ‘cult’ status.

Its 16,000 ha of vines lie over a strip (40 miles long-5 miles wide) of diverse soils (clay, gravely, volcanic), with its northernmost end on the side of Mountain Helena and its foot in San Francisco Bay. The valley is framed by two mountains ranges Vaca (to the north) and Mayacamas (to the south), yet the main climatic influence is the cool wind and fog that is sucked in from San Pablo Bay during the afternoon, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. 

The area enjoys a variety of unique microclimates, as temperatures can vary dramatically as much as 15 degrees, from the north to the south end of the valley. These differences have led to the creation of several sub-AVAs (14 in total) including:

Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley District, Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mt. Veeder, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Spring Mountain District, Stags Leap District, Yountville, Wild Horse Valley and Oak Knoll District. The Calistoga AVA is still pending approval.

Both the “Napa Valley” designation and the sub-AVA name must appear on the wine label simultaneously, with the exception of wines from the Carneros AVA, which is shared between the Napa Valley and the Sonoma County.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of Napa grapes, occupying over 45% of the vineyard acreage, followed by (predominantly) Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cab. Franc and to a lesser extent Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto.

Recommended Producers
Frog's Leap, Dominus, David Ramey, Viader, Stag's Leap Cellars, Paras Vineyards, Heitz.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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