Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon OWC 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
James Suckling - "Mindlblowing nose with spearmint, cloves and blackberries. Floral, too. Full body with phenomenal detail featuring delicate but intense blackberry, espresso, toasted oak, caramel and dark chocolate. Cedar and sweet tobacco. Finesse all over. The wine of the vintage? Everything is there. Great energy."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with highly expressive, spiced Cabernet Franc-inflected aromas. Espresso, rosemary, lavender, violets and spices all take shape in the glass. The 2011 is a surprisingly dense, powerful Screaming Eagle with less of the pure seduction of some previous years and more intensity, especially in the tannins. Savory herbs, blackberries, menthol, appear later, adding complexity and pedigree. Cool, graphite-infused veins of minerality provide the backbone for layers of dark, brooding fruit. I don't expect the 2011 to offer its finest drinking before age ten, and even that will likely prove an overly optimistic assessment. In 2011, the blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, the remaining 25% split evenly between Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Range: 95-97 Points"
International Wine Cellar - "right medium ruby, a bit less saturated than the 2010. Precise, cool aromas of blackberry, violet, minerals and spearmint. Not quite the depth of the 2010 but offers superb intensity and cut to its very primary, fine-grained dark berry, floral and mint flavors. Still quite youthfully taut and firmly tannic on the aftertaste, in need of further elevage to flesh out. This was racked following the malolactic fermentation but not since then, with the result that it's very imploded today. But wonderfully elegant and intense, and a big success for the vintage."
The Wine Advocate - "Made from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the 2011 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is a sexy, upfront, precociously styled wine exhibiting a dense ruby/purple color as well as lots of licorice, camphor, black currant jam, new oak and spice box characteristics. Dense, rich and impressive, the early drinking charm of the 2011 vintage gives it immediate appeal.
Range: 91-94 Points"
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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.