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November 07, 2016

Screaming Eagle Second Flight 2013

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Screaming Eagle is the acme of great Californian wine and axiomatically the defining cult wine of the US. It is also the most expensive American wine and arguably the most critically acclaimed, the lack of availability in the market is astonishing. All 750 – 1,000 cases produced annually go directly to the top of a long queue of subscribers. It is nearly impossible to secure older vintages and is globally sought after, therefore, it is astronomically expensive. However, their second wine, aptly name Second Flight is in fact rarer, producing only 500-800 cases per year.

Following the successful release of the 2012 Second Flight, we are delighted to offer the 2013 release, another superb effort from the Estate. Antonio Galloni has awarded the wine 95 points, his highest ever score and James Suckling puts it on par with the 2012 awarding it 97 points.

The prodigious 2013 vintage has rewarded us with so many high scores already that it seems very likely that we may see a positive re-score from Parker in the near future, following his 90 point score. Galloni, sings its praises calling it a “gorgeous wine” and “a total knock-out from the team at Screaming Eagle”. We have managed to secure a parcel at mailing list prices and as a result are able to offer this today at a 13.3% discount to the UK market and comfortably lower than the US market. With the 2012 and 2013 vintages in Napa emerging as all-time classics, it pays to secure these leading wines on release; the 2012 Second Flight already trades at £3,000. Furthermore, with the attractive discount to market that we can pass on, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

As expected, volume in 2013 is small. Only 710 cases were produced. With a base of Merlot instead of Cabernet Sauvignon, Screaming Eagle Second Flight has a rounder mouthfeel and is stylistically more elegant. It is becoming a favourite of many and now takes pride of place among the leading second wines.

Screaming Eagle is located on the stony valley floor of the Napa Valley in Oakville between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountains. Oakville AVA is considered as one of the premier wine appellations in the world and known for producing superb Bordeaux varietals. The Estate was originally purchased by owner and founder Jean Philips in 1986 who appointed Heidi Barrett (wife of Bo Barrett from Montelena) as her winemaker. She bottled her first vintage in 1992, subsequently releasing it in 1995 when it was awarded 99 points by Robert Parker; overnight it became the most celebrated wine in California. Philips replanted the 18 hectare vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon as the dominant grape in the assemblage, which along with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot make the wine a true Bordeaux blend.

Philips sold Screaming Eagle to Charles Banks and Stan Kroenke in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, rumoured to be 30m dollars. In 2009 Banks left Screaming Eagle and Stan Kroenke is now the sole proprietor. The current winemaker Nick Gislason, formally of Harlan Estate, was officially appointed in 2012 and Michael Rolland is consultant Oenologist. Under the stewardship of Stan Kroenke the vineyard has been replanted and a new cellar has been built.

One of the first actions taken by Kroenke was to introduce a second wine, Second Flight, a premeditated attempt to solidify Screaming Eagle’s Romanee-Conti-esque legendary status. Second Flight’s debut vintage was the 2006, which released in 2012. The Wine Advocate immediately scored both this and the 2007 94 points. Like Screaming Eagle each bottle has a bubble coded security system, which allows the consumers to immediately verify the authenticity of this prized possession.

Screaming Eagle Second Flight 2013, 6x75cl, £2,600 IB 

97 points, James Suckling
Very bright and aromatic with dark purple fruits on the nose. Mint, floral and vine bark. Spearmint. Full body, very firm tannins, wonderful savoriness. Flavorful finish. A fabulous mouthfeel. Very, very long. Mostly merlot with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Drink or hold. 710 cases made.

95 points, Antonio Galloni
The 2013 Second Flight is dark, powerful and incisive, with layers of graphite-infused minerality that are pushed forward. This is perhaps the most intense, brooding Second Flight I have tasted so far. Unctuous and deep to the core, the 2013 possesses magnificent concentration to match its spherical texture. Lavender, rose petal, mint and a host of savory notes wrap around the deep, somber finish. What a gorgeous wine the 2013 is shaping up to be. This is a total knock-out from the team at Screaming Eagle.

90 points, Robert Parker
The 2013 Second Flight is 65% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine displays the energy, vibrancy and tension of 2013, and is not nearly as dramatic and flamboyant, nor as sexy as the 2012, but the wine is outstanding, very Bordeaux-like and well-made, with loads of red and black currant fruit, some licorice and underbrush as well as loamy soil notes. It should drink well for 10-15 years

To buy the wine, click here