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.
(212, The Wine Advocate 30th Apr 2014)