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Professional Ratings: 98 The Wine Advocate, 98 Vinous / Antonio Galloni, 97 Wine Spectator, 97 International Wine Cellar
Region: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Boutique Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 115849
Screaming Eagle remains one of the most compelling estates in Napa Valley. The winery is now under full control of Stan Kroenke. Consultant Andy Erickson is no longer involved in the property but his protege Nic Gislason appears to have the passion and talent to take things to the next level, as impossible a task as that may seem given the profound quality of the wines here. In addition to the wines formally reviewed, I also tasted several components of the 2010s that were absolutely gorgeous and a bottle of the 2007 which was flat-out great. OK, that is an understatement. It was utterly profound. But those weren't the most interesting wines I tasted. Those honors go to the several tanks of 2011 Merlot I sampled during the harvest. Why? Because Screaming Eagle is one of those very rare properties where the bottled wine captures the fullest essence of the fruit just as it tastes at harvest, and that is very, very rare.
The 2009 Screaming Eagle is insanely beautiful. It is a relatively open vintage that nevertheless possesses stunning intensity, depth and elegance. Dark red berries, flowers, mint and spices are all woven together beautifully. Layers of fruit build effortlessly to the long, seductive finish. The 2009 continues to flesh out in the glass. All of the elements are in the right place in the drop-dead gorgeous, stunning 2009. A haunting bouquet reminiscent of a great Musigny lingers on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. 98+.
Once again, the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon pays homage to the 2007, but the aromas and flavors seems to be just a touch brighter, which might just be a function of the wine's age. A wine of remarkable precision, the 2009 is totally dialed in from start to finish. Layers of intensely sweet, perfumed fruit are woven together with remarkable elegance and sheer polish. Today, the 2009 isn't quite as radiant as it has been in the past, and seems headed for a stubborn phase. It is still striking, though. Even if a bit less exotic than the 2007, the two wines share a silkiness and overall sense of textural finesse. A translucent, weightless finish rounds things out in style. The 2009 is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot.
A stunningly seamless effort, rich and elegant, this delivers perfumed currant-cassis aromas that are supple and graceful, building and gaining with subtle tannins, laced with loamy earth. A dash of black licorice marks the long finish. Drink now through 2028.
Deep medium ruby. Aromas of blackberry, licorice and stone show a youthfully medicinal quality. Displays sweet fruit on entry, but this is more like a tightly coiled spring on the mid-palate, conveying a distinctly imploded character today. Densely packed, juicy and spicy wine with a firm tannic spine and terrific length and lift. This very powerful wine, which appears to have more seed tannins than the 2008, will need a good decade of bottle aging upon release. 95-97 points.