97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The bottled 1999 (a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is as profound as I predicted a year and a half ago. It boasts an opaque purple color along with a gorgeously pure nose of creme de cassis, charcoal, and floral characteristics. The wine is opulent, dense, and rich, with exceptional purity, a viscous texture, and impressive underlying tannin that frames its large but elegant personality. Not surprisingly, this is a candidate for the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020. (RP) (8/2002)
97 points Wine Spectator
(Collectibles) A brilliant effort. Deliciously rich and complex, with gobs of concentrated black cherry, blackberry, plum and currant flavors focused in on a tight beam. Intense and concentrated, it exhibits a supple, polished texture, gaining complexity and nuance on a long, detailed finish. (11/2002)
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, saturated medium ruby. Very ripe, sweet, aromatic nose combines bitter cherry, currant, chocolate, espresso, baking spices and licorice. Expansive, sweet and mouthfilling; almost shockingly large-scaled for this wine. Velvety and seamless, with ripe acids giving the wine shape. Subtle notes of currant leaf, maple syrup and game. Finishes rich and long, with sweet tannins. Seems riper and more textured than recent vintages of this wine. (12/2002)
“First and foremost, I will be perpetuating the fresh, delicate style of wine that has been the Screaming Eagle hallmark since 1992. Across two winemakers before me (Heidi and Andy), that style has stayed remarkably consistent, which is part of the uniqueness of this ranch. The character of the vineyard really asserts itself. What will be new is the discovery of the young vine plots, and the ways that we can farm them individually to get the best site expression possible. It is a winemaker’s dream to be able to truly understand and manage a vineyard acre by acre and spend an enormous amount of time out there with the vines,” Nick Gislason, Winemaker.
One would not say that Screaming Eagle offers value versus price, but like Romanee-Conti it exists in another league. There is so little produced, with most of the production remaining in the US to be consumed domestically, that the global market clammers for whatever it can secure. Screaming Eagle is spectacular wine, a massive, fruit forward beast, with incredible dark fruits and power: it is a wonderful, special and breath-taking wine to drink.