Napa Valley California
It is amongst the most famous wine regions in the world, and it has since its commercial creation in the '60 really come to live and produces exceptional wines. For a long time (and that is from a European point if view) American wine (not californian in particular but it counts for almost 90% of the American wine production), was considered as not good or great, do not be angry at the European as the culture if wine is so engraved in the dna of most Europeans that for a long time any wine from outside Europe could not be better or as good. But since quite some time (about a good 16 years) many Europeans speak with a different note regarding American wines and Napa in particular. It is a shame that due to governmental agreements and egos, American wines here in Europe are not that easy to find, I speak of course for that craft driven American wine. Do not misunderstand here, there is a lot of CRAP European wine on the market which includes French as well.
Some of Californian top wines are: Araujo Estate, Colgin Estate, Dominus Estate, Harlan Estate, Pahlmeyer Estate, Joseph Phelps, Scarecrow, Schrader Cellars, Staglin Estate, Shafer Hillside, Kistler Vineyards, Peter Michael, Ramey Vineyards, J.Rochioli, DuMol.......
Screaming Eagle is one of Californian cult wines and when in 1992 Jean Philips, started the production, as before she sold her grapes to Napa valley wineries, she could never imagine the impact her wine would make on the global market and the prices this wine fetch today. Then at the time she was wondering if her homemade wine was any good? She brought it to Robert Mondavi (the pioneer of Californian wines), to sample it and they thought quite enough of her dark, liquored, rich in cassis flavoured cabernet sauvignon that they encouraged her to bottle it, though they snickered at her proposed name for the wine. In 2006 she sold her estate to Stan Kroene and Charles Banks, he is also owner of the promising Jonata winery in Santa Ynez Valley. Screaming Eagle holds about 20 hectares of planted vines (not all is used to make Screaming Eagle), it is 100% Cabernet-Sauvignon the soil is literally a rock pile on a gentle slope facing west, east of the Napa river. Drainage and exposure are excellent, and the vineyard lays just perfect for the Cabernet grape to receive enough heat through the day and cool down perfectly at night due to the cool breeze from the north. About 500 cases a year are produced although with the replanting they are looking to increase the production.
The wines are brimming with, deep plush layers of flavour, echoing currants, cassis, blackberries, and black cherries. The tannins are round soft and polished, yet firm enough to give indication that Screaming Eagle is set to age beautifully. In most vintages it is a blend of 90% cabernet sauvignon and tiny percentages of Cabernet franc and merlot.
Screaming price per bottle.
Screaming Eagle 1992: €9,531 $10,681 £8,216 Score: 98/100
Screaming Eagle 1993: €3,405 $3,816 £2,935 Score: 91/100
Screaming Eagle 1994: €3,182 $3,566 £2,743 Score: 94/100
Screaming Eagle 1995: €3,200 $3,587 £2,759 Score: 96/100
Screaming Eagle 1996: €2,760 $3,093 £2,379 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 1997: €4,443 $4,979 £3,830 Score: 96/100
Screaming Eagle 1998: €2,268 $2,542 £1,955 Score: 93/100
Screaming Eagle 1999: €2,357 $2,642 £2,032 Score: 96/100
Screaming Eagle 2000: no vintage
Screaming Eagle 2001: €2,859 $3,205 £2,465 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 2002: €2,680 $3,003 £2,310 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 2003: €2,559 $2,868 £2,206 Score: 94/100
Screaming Eagle 2004: €2,562 $2,872 £2,209 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 2005: €2,421 $2,713 £2,87 Score: 96/100
Screaming Eagle 2006: €2,406 $2,696 £2,074 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 2007: €3,132 $3,510 £2,700 Score: 98/100
Screaming Eagle 2008: €2,274 $2,548 £1,960 Score: 94/100
Screaming Eagle 2009: €2,310 $2,588 £1,991 Score: 97/100
Screaming Eagle 2010: €2,839 $3,181 £2,447 Score: 98/100
Screaming Eagle 2011: €2,093 $2,345 £1,804 Score: 95/100
Screaming Eagle 2012: €2,501 $2,803 £2,156 Score: 98/100
Screaming Eagle 2013: €2,334 $2,616 £2,012 Score: 98/100
So as you can see cheap it aint. Also once again if you look at an investment plan, wine is truly one to look into. Ever tasting this wine, well, the waiting list is numbered by the thousands, so getting on it is like winning the lotto. But if you have a very wealthy friend and likes to give you the experience; 1 do call me please and 2, give your friend a huge hug (even if it is male to male) and enjoy it sip by sip.
Until next time please do drink responsibly.