Started in 1986 by former real estate mogul Jean Phillips, Screaming Eagle produces some of the mostly highly sought-after wines in the world, and for good reason. Their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend, Screaming Eagle, regularly receives the rare perfect score from leading wine critics. There is little doubt as to how they achieve this — prime location and fastidious work in both the cellar and vineyard.
The fifty-seven acre Screaming Eagle estate is located on the valley floor in Oakville and is planted in a wide range of soils formed in alluvial fans coming from nearby mountains. Each vine is individually monitored with various cover crops used to naturally remediate any nutrient deficiencies across the vineyard. All 57 acres are vinified in one acre lots, allowing for picking to be done as individual sections reach optimal ripeness. Separating each acre also provides maximum selection for the eventual blending process.
Only the highest quality wine is used in the final blend of the flagship Screaming Eagle blend, with a separate bottling now named The Flight (formerly Second Flight) made of predominantly Merlot and aromatic-driven Cabernet Sauvignon of no less quality. A testament to Screaming Eagle’s almost unparalleled pursuit for quality is the fact that no wine was released from the 2017 vintage. Only small amounts of fruit were picked before devastating local wildfires blanketed the area in thick smoke. The grapes that were left hanging when the smoke arrived did not meet the standards for Screaming Eagle and were left out entirely, meaning there was virtually no wine produced for the entire vintage.