screaming eagle, cabernet sauvignon, oakville 2016
Deep ruby in colour, with a youthful, precise nose of pure, ripe cassis fruit, subtle, integral cedar oak and fresh earth minerality. Some toasted spice adds a degree of complexity in the wine’s first flush of youth. The subtlety and integration of the nose is surpassed by the finesse of its medium-full body and fresh, bright, lively palate. Touches of tobacco and cocoa combine with some dusty mineral notes and a lovely depth of fruit, enveloping the firm but ripe cocoa-powder tannins. An elegantly integral, mellifluous finish with fantastic length.
A primordial baby of a wine, the 2016 Screaming Eagle includes slightly more Cabernet Sauvignon than the 2015 and is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. About as elegant and classy as it gets, this brilliant wine offers loads of blueberries, crème de cassis, crushed violets, spice, and a distinct minerality that emerges with time in the glass. Perfectly balanced, incredibly elegant, with great intensity and length, it will most likely merit a triple-digit score in 4-5 years and it will keep for 3-4 decades. While it's easy to think all cult California Cabs are rich, monster wines, the reality is far from it, and this estate continues to produce wines in a balanced, elegant, classic, iconic style that is unquestionably up with the greatest wines on earth.
The subtle and nuanced aromas to this are so enticing with perfumed, floral, blackcurrant and blackberry character. Roses, too. Some lavender. Full-bodied yet so refined and polished with the most transparent and polished texture. Firm and seamless. So beautiful now. Give it three or four years to come around, but this already sings.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Screaming Eagle is, as usual, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with bright, exuberant blackberries, kirsch and warm blackcurrants scents plus touches of lavender, roses, tilled black loam, wild sage and dark chocolate with wafts of yeast extract, underbrush and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, firm and fine grained, with amazing freshness, it is layered with crunchy black and red fruits, sparked by floral and mineral notions and finishing with epic length and depth.
Features a well-packed core of frankly ripe fig and boysenberry fruit. Shows density, but overall this maintains openness and freshness, with savory, sage, violet and apple wood notes imparting an expressive and energetic profile through the finish. Sneakily long, and though approachable now, this should age well.