Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
With the help of Heidi Barrett and Gustav Dalla Valle, this operation's debut vintage is the extraordinary 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the greatest young Cabernets I have ever tasted. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and aged in 60% new oak. It is only sold via a mailing list, so readers who want to taste one of the most exciting young wines being produced should get on the list. The 175 cases of the 1992 are followed by only 130 cases of the 1993, and a tiny quantity of 1994, as the last two vintages were even smaller in crop size.
The Wine Advocate - "The 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptionally impressive. The wine's opaque purple color is followed by a sensational nose of jammy blackcurrants and subtle toasty oak. As stunning as the aromatics are, the wine reveals even greater richness and intensity on the palate, offering up layers of stunningly proportioned, ripe, intense fruit, full body, great purity, and an inner-core of sweet, creamy, highly extracted blackcurrant/cassis fruit. The tannin is nearly concealed behind the massive extract and richness. All the component parts are brilliantly focused and in balance. The finish is awesome!"
Wine Spectator - "At this stage, the wine of the vintage, with an amazingly dark, rich, plush core of currant, spice, black cherry and blackberry. Deliciously elegant, with supple, subtle flavor nuances and extra flavor dimensions. Shows no sign of fatigue; the debut vintage was no fluke."
Screaming Eagle Winery
Screaming Eagle is one of Napa Valley's smallest wineries. The little stone winery is perched on a rocky hillside in the Oakville Appellation overlooking the vineyard planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in 65% new French oak barrels for almost two years. Annual production is approximately 500 cases with most wine sold directly to consumers via a mailing list. The winery's first release was approximately 200 cases of the 1992 vintage. View all Screaming Eagle Wines
About Napa Valley
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.