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Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
  • WS94
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • RP99
  • WS96
  • RP100
  • WS95
  • RP100
  • WS95
  • RP98
  • WS95
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • JS99
  • WS96
  • RP93
  • RP100
  • JS100
  • WS97
  • WS96
  • RP94
  • WS96
  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

Open, forward and intensely perfumed aromas of cassis, boysenberry and warm raspberries dominate the nose of this ripe, fruit-driven Cabernet, with undercurrents of vanilla, sweet earth and anisette. Texturally the wine opens with soft, delicate fresh flavors of sweet crushed dark cherries, evolving into darker notes of cocoa, vanilla, and a hint of warm toasty oak. Velvety, fully complexed tannins coat the mouthfeel as though the wine is draped in heavy satin. The wine continues to evolve and add layers and dimensions of flavor as it spends time in the glass, and a description of the wine can only provide a snapshot of that evolution.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
A riveting expression of complex Cabernet, this is rich, loamy and layered, with pure, detailed currant, blackberry and black licorice flavors and firm, gripping tannins. Gains and sustains on the finish. Cellar-worthy. Best from 2014 through 2028.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon bursts from the glass with huge dark fruit, scorched earth, menthol, licorice and smoke. The first impression is quite positive, but then the persistence on the mid-palate unexpectedly drops off quickly, as if there is a hole in the middle of the wine. In this vintage, the difference between the second label M. Etain and Scarecrow is much less evident than in 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
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Scarecrow

Scarecrow

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Scarecrow, Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Image of winery
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.

Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, and in a short span of time, Napa Valley is a relative newcomer in the world of prestigious red wine regions. While the 1960s brought a few determined growers to the valley, by the 1970s Napa Valley already had shown the world its ability to compete head-to-head with the esteemed region of Bordeaux. The victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, followed by Robert Parker’s 100-point perfect score awarded to the Groth 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon brought plenty of acclaim to the valley.

Though Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly still dominates Napa Valley in every way, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and enjoying plenty of recognition, other red varieties certainly thrive here as well. Important but often overlooked include Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded for single varietal wines or for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel still exists in the valley and in its mountain appellations, representing an important historical stronghold for the region. Pinot noir can be produced but mainly in the cooler southern parts of the valley close to the San Pablo Bay.

What makes Napa such an amazing place for the production of red wines? Mainly it is a combination of ideal weather patterns and incredible soil variations. A balance of hot days and cool nights from the cool moist air of the San Pablo Bay or elevation, or both, allows even and slow ripening of its grapes. Furthermore the valley and its more mountainous sub appellations claim over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—all ideal for world-class red wine production.

MSY120773_2009 Item# 120773