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100 Parker Points:Utter perfection, the 2010 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon (a 610-case blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc; 14.5% natural alcohol) boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with a staggering bouquet of spring flowers, graphite, creme de cassis, kirsch, licorice and subtle toast in the background. Opulent and full-bodied with a multidimensional personality, gorgeous purity and a stunning, flawless texture, this spectacular wine is among the wines of the vintage.
Under the ownership of Stan Kroenke, this vineyard has been replanted and a new cellar has been constructed. The production of Screaming Eagle has remained between 700-1,000 cases, and a second wine, the Second Flight, includes 520-800 cases. The introduction of a second wine is an attempt to keep Screaming Eagle at its mythical level of quality. This vineyard, situated on the valley floor at the Oakville Crossroads across the road from the Rudd Estate, encompasses 60 acres, but only a small percentage is used for these two cuvees. Based on the three vintages I tasted, it appears the Second Flight wines include much less Cabernet Sauvignon and more Merlot than the flagship Screaming Eagle.
“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.