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Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
  • WS91
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP98
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  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

The world's most iconic wine estates show vintage variation in degrees of excellence, and the Scarecrow estate vineyard in Rutherford, Napa Valley, is no exception. With this lovelyoffering from a rare season which exhibited more Bordeaux-like conditions than those typical to Napa Valley, we find the intense perfumed aromas that only a season with gentle temperatures can bring. How else can one explain the sudden appearance of sweet wafts of jasmine and gently crushed rose petal among the more prevalent ripe tones of dark cherry, vanilla and a touch of warm vanilla? These aromas show the gentle summer temperaturesof 2011 to their fullest glory. On the palate, the warm, rich, silky broad texture of this fully ripe wine acclaims to all that this vineyard holds its own in every season. As soft and rich, as unmistakably Rutherford as one might find in any vintage, the finish of this juicy, full-bodied Cabernet shows the tremendous complexity and grace which makes the powerful flavors all the more appealing.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A notable success in an extremely irregular vintage (even more so for Napa’s valley floor vineyards), the 2011 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon possesses a deep ruby/plum/purple color, and a slightly lighter weight and less of a serious foundation of structure than the 2010. However, the wine’s purity and hints of kirsch, black currants, berry fruit and toasty oak are well-displayed and well-integrated into this seamlessly constructed effort.

Range: 91-93 Points

WS 91
Wine Spectator
Deep, focused, rich and extracted, with earth, dusty berry, cedar and tobacco leaf notes. For all its tannic muscle, the flavors push through.
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Scarecrow

Scarecrow

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Scarecrow, California
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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.

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Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon

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One of the most prestigious wines of the world capable of great power and grace, Napa Valley Cabernet is a leading force in the world of fine, famous, collectible red wines. Today the Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this marriage came to light; sudden international recognition rained upon Napa with the victory of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

Cabernet Sauvignon undoubtedly dominates Napa Valley today, covering half of the land under vine, commanding the highest prices per ton and earning the most critical acclaim. Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure, acidity, capacity to thrive in multiple environs and ability to express nuances of vintage make it perfect for Napa Valley where incredible soil and geographical diversity are found and the climate is perfect for grape growing. Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that express specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil—as a perfect example, Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.

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RUS134581_2011 Item# 134581