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Spotlight on: Screaming Eagle

4 things you need to know about this flamboyantly named wine brand 

With a name like Screaming Eagle, this could only be an American winery, but don’t let the name put you off, this is one of the west coasts most sought after wines. Though it may be as steeped in history as other, European-based wines, there are still a number of reasons why it would be a worthwhile addition to any wine investor’s portfolio. Below we outline 4 key things you might want to know about Screaming Eagle before adding it to your collection.

  1. Quite the Back Story

Screaming Eagle is one of the original Californian "cult wines". Proprietor Jean Philips never dreamt that her wine would be so sought after, when in 1992, after years of selling grapes to Napa Valley wineries, she decided to find out if her home-made wine, created in a plastic trash can, was any good. She took a sample down to Robert Mondavi where they thought enough of her dark, rich, cassis-flavoured Cabernet to encourage her to bottle it, though they snickered at her proposed name. The rest is history.  

  1. Perfect Cali Weather

Screaming Eagle's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is ideally situated. The soil is virtually a rock pile on a gentle, west-facing slope east of the Napa River. Drainage and exposure are excellent. The property is at a point in the valley where the weather is hot enough during the day to ripen Cabernet to its optimum, yet the grapes are cooled by the afternoon breezes that blow north from San Pablo Bay.

  1. Quality over Quantity

Only 500 cases a year of Screaming Eagle are produced under the direction of winemaker Heidi Peterson Barret. The resulting wines are brimming with deep, plush layers of flavour, echoing currant, cassis, blackberries and black cherry. The tannins are soft, round and polished, yet firm enough to give every indication that Screaming Eagle wines will age beautifully for 10 to 20 years.

  1. The Special Barrel

For the first Screaming Eagle vintage, part of the harvest was aged in a special barrel, with an engraved top. For good luck, that same barrel has been reused for each subsequent vintage of Screaming Eagle ever since. And yes, the new owners proudly carry on that tradition.

 



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