Top 10 100-point Napa Cabernets

1. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Release price: $125

Current price: $4,195+

Production: 500 cases

Owner/winemaker: Jean Philips/Heidi Barrett

Surprise, surprise, the winner is Screaming Eagle. It is arguably the cult wine and the 1997 vintage harks back to the founding days of the winery under Philips and Barrett.

Founded in 1986 by Jean Philips, the 57 acres of vineyard were originally planted with a mix of varieties for selling off to other producers.

However, Philips had her eye on one plot of just 80 vines, which she had reviewed by the team at the Robert Mondavi Winery.

Convinced of its potential, she hired Richard Peterson as a consultant and met in doing so met Peterson’s daughter Heidi Barrett who came on board as winemaker.

The 1992 was the first vintage. Released in 1995 its tiny production and a positive review from Robert Parker (99 points) catapulted the winery into the big time.

Wine Advocate #126 Jan 2000

What did Parker say: “It doesn’t get any better than 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon, a perfect wine. Representing the essence of cassis liqueur intermixed with blackberries, minerals, liquorice and toast, this full-bodied, multi-dimensional classic is fabulous, with extraordinary purity, symmetry and a finish that lasts for nearly a minute.”

 

 

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