Screaming Eagle 2016 released – “positively stunning”

By February 25, 2019Releases, Rest of the World, USA

Last week, Screaming Eagle 2016 was released in the USA at $1,050 per bottle (£800). Screaming Eagle, however, is produced in small quantities and releases are often based on long term relationships and allocations. As a result, the release price has risen considerably and the wine is now being offered by merchants for $3,000 per bottle (£2,325).

In October, Lisa Perotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) scored the wine a barrel range of 98-100 points. However, Perotti-Brown said that “readers can assume that the final bottled score is likely to be at the upper most end of the ranges I’ve given”.

Antonio Galloni (Vinous) was also full of praise and awarded the wine a perfect 100 points. He described the wine as “positively stunning” and “magnificent!”

Screaming Eagle is considered one of the ultimate Californian cult wines and was added to the Liv-ex California 50 index – which tracks the price movements of the last ten physical vintages of the five most actively traded California wines – back in July 2018.

Due to its status as a Californian ‘First Growth’, Screaming Eagle allocations are highly sought after and the last ten vintages average £29,700 per 12×75, although a slight premium is awarded to those with 100-points, as the chart above shows.

With merchants offering the 2016 for £27,900 in the USA, a 6% discount to the average, followers of the estate may find value in this release. However, with several years in bottle and 100-points from Robert Parker, the 2012 vintage also looks attractive.

Screaming Eagle 2017

Perotti-Brown’s tasting note also included a comment by Screaming Eagle’s winemaker, Nick Gislason, on the estate’s 2017 vintage which was affected by the October Wildfires that hit northern California. In the note, Gislason said that “the vast majority of our fruit was still on the vines maturing when the fires came, and thus, was lost to us. When the smoke finally cleared, we cut and discarded all of it. Any wine for a 2017 Screaming Eagle or Flight would be made exclusively from our tiny pre-fire harvest, is likely to be miniscule, and may not be released at all if it does not meet our quality standards”.