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Screaming Eagle Wine

Screaming Eagle is California’s Cult Wine King of Cab

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Screaming Eagle Wine

Screaming Eagle Wine

Screaming Eagle Winery
Screaming Eagle … even those with just their big toe in the wine world know the name, “Screaming Eagle” and recognize its reputation as Napa Valley’s top dog in the Cult Cab circle. Nestled in the heart of California’s Cab country, Oakville, the 54 acre Screaming Eagle Estate was started by real estate broker, Jean Phillips and set on course by renowned winemaker, Heidi Barrett. The first vintage of Screaming Eagle came in 1992 and was released in 1996. Right out of the shoots, Screaming Eagle packed in the points from the likes of Robert Parker (99 to be exact), and as the cult wine supply and demand story goes, quantities were limited and prices went skyward and continue to do so today.

Screaming Eagle Wine Waiting Lists

Screaming Eagle’s current production still rides around 500 cases a year, with a mail order list that is curbed at three bottles a person and a lengthy waiting list that hovers over 5,000 strong. With such limited production and so few spots available to purchase the wine from the winery, Screaming Eagle is ripe for auction house inflation and high-end restaurant reserves. Online or on-site auctions are precisely where the majority of those with the discretionary income to splurge on Screaming Eagle’s celebrity status get their hands on a bottle. Though the price for recent vintages has ranged from $1300 to $2500+ a bottle once it hits the auction market, it can still be difficult to get a bottle let alone a case of the Eagle.

Shakin’ the Eagle’s Nest

After more than 20 years of tenure, the Screaming Eagle Estate transferred ownership in 2006 and sold to business partners Stan Kroenke and Charles Banks, who in turn brought on distinguished winemaker, Andy Erickson, to take the helm and David Abreu to handle the vineyard management. Changes continued with Kroenke assuming full ownership in 2009 and Andy Erickson leaving the winery as of 2011 to pursue new viticulture ventures.

Screaming Eagle’s Sister Winery - Jonata

Those in the know, that don’t want to part with some serious cash for the almighty Eagle, have found a nice match in Screaming Eagle’s sister winery, Jonata. Owned by the same folks that steer Screaming Eagle, and priced at a fraction of its big sister’s label, Jonata’s wines are carefully crafted by winemaker Matt Dees to maximize the tannin structure, while keeping a fine focus on the Bordeaux and Rhone blends. The Jonata Winery makes its home in the Santa Ynez Valley on over 600 acres. The 2007 Jonata vintage release includes the La Sangre de Jonata (Syrah dominates), the El Desafio (Cabernet Sauvignon heavy in new French oak) and the El Alma (Cab Franc) all well-ranked and worth trying.

Whether you dream of scoring a bottle of Screaming Eagle for yourself one day or just enjoying a sip of her sibling, Jonata, there's plenty to appreciate about Screaming Eagle's storied start and enduring evolution, as her future is far from finished.

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