Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The wine's aromas show off the dry, warm vintage and small crop beautifully. Intense ripe berries, dark chocolate, a whiff of toasty oak, and some deeper tone of dark vanilla, sweet earth, and roasted pecans swirl to fill the glass, changing and evolving with time. On the palate, the dark berries are joined with a slightly redder, fresher force of bing cherries and a touch of toasted anise seed. Soft and rich, this full-bodied wine lingers with all its flavors dancing as the intensity of the finish slowly fades.
James Suckling - "Like listening to cool mellow rock 'n' roll. Extraordinary aromas of violets and dark fruits such as blueberries and currants. I can't get over the aromas here. Then it goes to minerals with just a hint of bay leaf. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins with a beautiful softness and beautifulness. I love the balance and harmony to this with bright acidity. I would drink this before the 2007. Just under 1,000 cases of 12 but all sold in threes. Reminds me of Leoville Las Cases but with Napa brightness. Enjoy or hold for a long time."
Wine Spectator - "This beautifully crafted red combines power with finesse, serving up layers of dense, intense currant, mineral, mocha, espresso, graphite and cedary oak flavors that are full-throttled and focused, with a deep, churning base of smoky tannins that give this a wonderful finish. Best from 2013 through 2023."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Wonderfully deep aromas of black raspberry, dark cherry, mint, minerals, anise and flowers. Thick on entry, then expands in the middle palate, displaying a suave texture and a weightless impression for such a dense, chewy wine. Boasts a tight, concentrated core of black cherry fruit complicated by dark chocolate, thyme and tarragon. The rising, extremely long finish features black cherry, raspberry and licorice flavors and even, palate-saturating tannins.
Rating: 94(+?) "
The Wine Advocate - "After a perfect wine in 2007, I suppose the 2008 is something of a letdown. A hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon (800 cases), this is still an outstanding wine, with classic graphite, creme de cassis, blueberry and floral notes all well-presented in the perfumed aromatics of this full-bodied, rich, concentrated wine. It has some noticeable tannins to be resolved and is not as seamless and flawless as the monumental 2007. Nevertheless, this is a gorgeous wine to drink over the next 20+ years.
Rating: 93+ "
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The Scarecrow story begins in a patch of earth with a fabled past. The J.J. Cohn Estate, where Scarecrow grapes are born, borders what was once the legendary vineyard of Inglenook winemaker Gustave Niebaum, whose plantings blanketed more than 1,000 acres of the Napa Valley at the close of the 19th century.
John Daniel Jr. took the helm at Inglenook in 1939, determined to restore the label to pre-Prohibition standing and produce world-class Bordeaux-style wines. In 1945, Daniel convinced his neighbor, J.J. Cohn, to plant eighty acres of Cabernet vines on the 180-acre parcel Cohn had purchased a few years prior. The property served as a summer retreat for Cohn's wife and their family. He had no ambitions to become a winemaker himself, but Daniel promised to buy his grapes, so Cohn planted vines. The rest, as they say, is history.
J.J. Cohn fruit figured prominently in Inglenook's superlative Cabernet Sauvignons of the post-war era, and has more recently gone into wines of such renown as Opus One, Niebaum-Coppola, Duckhorn, Insignia and Etude.
J.J. Cohn Estate grapes are highly sought-after in part because Cohn bucked the trend, begun in the mid-1960s, of replacing vines planted on St. George rootstock with the supposedly superior AxR#I hybrid. Over time, vines grafted onto this new stock proved highly vulnerable to phylloxera. But by then, virtually all of the old St. George vines in Napa had been destroyed. Only the original 1945 J.J. Cohn vines survived. These highly prized "Old Men" continue to produce uncommonly rich fruit—the hallmark of Scarecrow wine.
But the Scarecrow story doesn’t end there. This is more than a tale of enchanted ground and the exceptional wine that flows out of it. The Scarecrow story is a story, too, of an extraordinary family legacy. Joseph Judson Cohn was born in Harlem in 1895 to Russian immigrants. Cohn spent his childhood in dire poverty and never learned to prefer the taste of fresh bread over stale—even after he’d found great success in Hollywood.
A move west in the 1920s launched Cohn’s studio career. Highly resourceful and extremely capable, Cohn began as a bookkeeper, distinguished himself early and rose quickly through the ranks to become Chief of Production at MGM. His unofficial credo, "Nothing is impossible," became the motto of his MGM staff. They knew him as a man who simply refused to take "No" for an answer. View all Scarecrow Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.