Aged 20 months in 72% new French oak, this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc comes from a great vineyard on the valley floor in Oakville, just south of Rudd Estate and Plumpjack. The wine’s dense ruby/purple color is followed by a beautiful, Pauillac-like (think Pontet Canet or Mouton), ethereal perfume of creme de cassis, or as Michael Broadbent used to say, 'celestial black currants,' full body, a velvety texture, fine tannins, a multidimensional mouthfeel, and a terrific finish. While there were no real surprises tasting this wine, I was somewhat intrigued by just how youthful the 2004 Screaming Eagle is showing. I had expected it to reveal slightly more evolution. I thought the 13% Merlot in the blend would push the evolution more quickly. The finish lasts for a full minute. As it has been in just about every vintage, the 2004 is a profound wine. It is for others to decide if it is overpriced, but this is undeniably a great wine that competes on the world stage with the best that exist. (RP) 97+
Good deep ruby-red. Deeper, sweeter aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, mocha, smoke and minerals. Rich and suave in the mouth; fuller and considerably smoother than the 2003. This boasts lovely sweetness and superb refinement, as well as more stuffing to support its nutty oak than the leaner 2003 ppossesses. There's nothing astringent about this. The blend includes just 6% Merlot and 2% Cab Franc. (ST)
Impeccably balanced, intense and complex, with a mix of savory currant, loamy earth and firmly structured tannins. Tightens up on the finish, where the tannins clamp down, yet the finish is long and persistent. (JL)
Dark crimson with some age at the rim. Fully evolved nose that seems very much more than two years older than the 2006 – and much more subtle. Extraordinary sweetness on palate entry even though it finishes dry. The impression is of a dark chocolate drink, albeit one with enough freshness and life. Admirably complete and already drinking well. Good balance. 18/20 points. Drink to 2026. (JR)
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