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2003 Screaming Eagle - Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
abv 14.6%
  • 98 WA
  • 88 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 58927-2003-750-3A
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 98

    This 2003 was showing spectacularly well, and based on my recollection, I think I may have liked it even more than the 2002, which is the reverse of how I felt a decade ago. One of the biggest (14.6% alcohol) wines made by Screaming Eagle during this period, it boasts an opaque ruby/purple color as well as classic, pure, creme de cassis, cedarwood and hints of Asian soy sauce and forest floor notes. The multidimensional aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, silky-textured, opulent, rich, atypically big wine that is impeccably well-balanced. It is just starting to come into its own. Four to five more years in the cellar will prove magical, and this 2003 is one of the candidates for the wine of the vintage. It should last another 20+ years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    ($500) Good dark red-ruby. Distinctly rocky, mineral-driven aromas of redcurrant and leather. Juicy, suave and delineated, with lovely acid spine and a strong spice character. Not a dense or fleshy wine (fans of sheer size may be underwhelmed) but nicely balanced, pure and long on personality. Finishes with dusty, broad tannins and lovely finesse.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2007
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 88

    Elegant, supple and balanced, with red currant, anise, plum and cedary oak flavors. Clean and refreshing, with supple herb and berry fruit. A classy effort that comes up shy on complexity. 650 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Author: winefolio
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Author: sbind
  • Self | Rating: 96

    Fantastic Wine Dinner. 6 people and 6 bottles of Screaming Eagle.
    Author: rstilley
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Maybe I am just bitter that I will never get off the wait list, but I have bought several bottles of Screagle second hand and though they are always great, I don't think it lives up to hype or price, especially the recent vintages. Solid wine, but I will spend my thousands elsewhere (e.g. Peter Michael's Les PAvot, Shaeffer, Morlet, Hundred Acre, or Kongsgaard all offer comparable and in some cases much better wines at much lower prices).
    Author: VinoDeparture
Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyards is a California wines estate producing limited amounts of varietal wine to the small quantities produced and high prices commanded, their wines are considered cult wines. The winery is located in Oakville, California north of the town of Napa in the Napa Valley.

Jean Phillips, a former real estate agent bought the 23 hectare vineyard in 1986 which was planted to produce a mix of varieties, most of which Phillips sold to various Napa wineries. With all white varieties but for 4,000 square meters, approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. Philips sought the opinions of Robert Mondavi Winery employees on the commercial potential of her wine before hiring Richard Peterson as a consultant and subsequently met Peterson's daughter, Heidi Peterson Barrett, who became her winemaker. The 1992 vintage, through a combination of very low production numbers and highly positive reviews (wine critic Robert Parker awarded the wine 99 points), resulted in Screaming Eagle wine sold at unusually high prices.

In 2006 the estate sold to Stanley Kroenke. In an ongoing replanting strategy, the vineyard manager David Abreu is employed to oversee the process. The vineyards tended by vineyard foreman Jorge Delgado while the current winemaker is Nick Gislason.

The estate has gained unprecedented acclaim in such a short period of time and the wins can be found in charity auction and investment portfolios for unprecedented dollar amounts. The quality is undeniable and the production of an average 700 cases makes this incredibly rare and precious. To note, the 2005 vintage produced only 400 cases.

See other similar producers:Vineyard 29,Grace Family,Colgin Cellars

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 751 bottles owned
  • 239 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 95
    (Out of 239 collectors)