Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyards
|Screaming Eagle Winery
|Location||Oakville, California, USA|
|Key people||Jean Phillips, founder
Heidi Barrett, former winemaker
Nick Gislason, winemaker
|Varietals||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Sauvignon blanc|
Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyards is a California wine estate producing limited amounts of varietal wine; due to the small quantities produced and high prices commanded, their wines are considered cult wines. The winery is located in Oakville, California, north of the town of Napa in the Napa Valley.
Jean Phillips, a former real estate agent, bought the 57 acre Oakville vineyard in 1986 which was planted to a mix of varieties, most of which Phillips sold to various Napa wineries except the 1-acre (4,000 m2), approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. For this one acre of Cabernet, Philips sought the opinions of Robert Mondavi Winery employees on the commercial potential of her wine before hiring Richard Peterson as a consultant, and subsequently met Peterson's daughter, Heidi Peterson Barrett, who became Screaming Eagle's first winemaker. The entire vineyard was replanted in 1995 to three varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc. The 1992 vintage, released in 1995, through a combination of very low production numbers and highly positive reviews (wine critic Robert Parker awarded the wine 99 points), resulted in Screaming Eagle becoming one of the most celebrated and expensive wines in the Napa Valley.
Phillips disclosed the sale in a letter to Wine Spectator, saying she received an offer she couldn't refuse. On March 17 of 2006 the estate was sold to Charles Banks and Stanley Kroenke. In a letter to clients, Phillips stated, "they will renovate old structures or build new ones and replant the vineyard. The new owners have exciting plans to keep it small but raise the bar on quality." Three years later, in April 2009, Charles Banks left Screaming Eagle leaving Stan Kroenke as the sole proprietor. Armand de Maigret is the Estate Manager.
The vineyard area extends 48.21 acres (19.510 ha), planted with varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot, and a small amount of Sauvignon blanc. The vineyards are managed by David Abreu Vineyard Management and tended to by vineyard foreman Jorge Delgado and his team. In 2006 34 acres were replanted. The annual production ranges from 400 to 750 cases (between 5,000 and 9,000 750ml bottles). The current winemaker is Nick Gislason, Marc Gagnon is the Enologist and the world renowned Michel Rolland is a consultant. “A winemaker never, never changes the character of a wine. The character comes from the grapes”Template:Oct 11, 2006 New York Times
- Laube, James; Sogg, Daniel, Wine Spectator (March 21, 2006). "Screaming Eagle Sold".
- Robinson, Jancis, jancisrobinson.com (November 10, 2007). "Screaming Eagle - the new regime".
- Laube, James, Wine Spectator (April 5, 2000). "Focus On: Screaming Eagle".
- Calwineries. "Heidi Peterson Barrett".
- Gray, W. Blake. San Francisco Chronicle (March 23, 2006). "Oakville's Screaming Eagle Winery sold". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Laube, James; Weed Augustus, Wine Spectator (April 09, 2009). A Shake-Up at Screaming Eagle
- Calwineries. "Screaming Eagle Winery".