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Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
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.
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.
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.