Scarecrow, 'M. Étain', Napa Valley, California, 2013
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About The Producer
The Scarecrow story begins in a patch of earth with a fabled past. The J.J. Cohn Estate, where Scarecrow grapes are born, borders what was once the legendary vineyard of Inglenook winemaker Gustave Niebaum, whose plantings blanketed more than 1,000 acres of the Napa Valley at the close of the 19th century.
John Daniel Jr. took the helm at Inglenook in 1939, determined to restore the label to pre-Prohibition standing and produce world-class Bordeaux-style wines. In 1945, Daniel convinced his neighbor, J.J. Cohn, to plant eighty acres of Cabernet vines on the 180-acre parcel Cohn had purchased a few years prior. The property served as a summer retreat for Cohn’s wife and their family. He had no ambitions to become a winemaker himself, but Daniel promised to buy his grapes, so Cohn planted vines. The rest, as they say, is history.
J.J. Cohn fruit figured prominently in Inglenook’s superlative Cabernet Sauvignons of the post-war era, and has more recently gone into wines of such renown as Opus One, Niebaum-Coppola, Duckhorn, Insignia and Etude.
J.J. Cohn Estate grapes are highly sought-after in part because Cohn bucked the trend, begun in the mid- 1960s, of replacing vines planted on St. George rootstock with the supposedly superior AxR#I hybrid. Over time, vines grafted onto this new stock proved highly vulnerable to phylloxera. But by then, virtually all of the old St. George vines in Napa had been destroyed. Only the original 1945 J.J. Cohn vines survived. These highly prized “Old Men” continue to produce uncommonly rich fruit—the hallmark of Scarecrow wine.
But the Scarecrow story doesn’t end there. This is more than a tale of enchanted ground and the exceptional wine that flows out of it. The Scarecrow story is a story, too, of an extraordinary family legacy. Joseph Judson Cohn was born in Harlem in 1895 to Russian immigrants. Cohn spent his childhood in dire poverty and never learned to prefer the taste of fresh bread over stale—even after he’d found great success in Hollywood.
A move west in the 1920s launched Cohn’s studio career. Highly resourceful and extremely capable, Cohn began as a bookkeeper, distinguished himself early and rose quickly through the ranks to become Chief of Production at MGM. His unofficial credo, “Nothing is impossible,” became the motto of his MGM staff. They knew him as a man who simply refused to take “No” for an answer.
During Hollywood’s golden age, Cohn was instrumental in the making of such film classics as Ben Hur, Gigi, Mutiny on the Bounty and, most beloved of all, The Wizard of Oz. Today, the Scarecrow label pays tribute to the endearing and indomitable character from that film. Scarecrow evokes a distinctly American agricultural icon and American optimism. And most importantly, Scarecrow honors the remarkable life of J.J. Cohn. Cohn lived to be 100 years old, spanning a defining century that he helped to shape. The people who labor with passion and conviction to bring you Scarecrow wine are proud to be part of his living legacy.
Grape / Blend
Monsieur Etain Cohn Ranch, Napa Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
A season of very consistent temperatures and a slightly smaller crop size created this perfectly ripe and aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon. Intensely perfumed aromas of ripe raspberries, blueberry tart, and warm spicy cocoa combine to offer a deeply complex aroma profile of classic Rutherford Cabernet. At entry, the wine is soft, rich, and bright with fresh fruit flavors. The deeper vanilla tones provide a lush backdrop for notes of dark Bing cherries.
Harvested between September 24 and October 9, 2013, the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit which comprised this blend was cut from the vine by hand, then gently destemmed and transferred to fermentation vessels for 21 to 28 days. Each lot was vinified separately, then separated from the skins, gently pressed, and transferred to barrels. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels (70% new) for approximately 18 months before bottling. The wine was bottled in March, 2015. A total of 1700 cases were bottled without fining or filtration.
95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 M. Etain Cabernet Sauvignon, which is hardly a second wine by any means, offers beautiful blackcurrant fruit with some cedar wood/sandalwood notes, an opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning purity, and that layered texture that is so enticing. The wine has a beautiful opaque purple color, hints of graphite, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a touch of licorice and the soil undertones that some would say are part of the so-called 'Rutherford dust' scenario, although that's debatable. This wine has the sweetness and opulence to be drunk young, but won't hit its prime for at least another 5-8 years and keep for 20-30
94 Points - Vinous
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon M. Etain is a superb second wine. The pedigree here is simply striking. Dark red cherry, plum, mocha and spice blossom in the glass, but above all else, the M. Etain is a wine of pure texture. A deep, inky wine, the 2013 offers a compelling interplay of aromas and flavors, with marvelous depth to match its captivating personality. Frankly, it's virtually impossible to put the glass down. The M. Etain was bottled a few months before the Scarecrow, so it is even more expressive than its big brother.
92 Points - Wine Spectator
Savory aromas of dusty herb and spice lead to a rich, elegant core of blackberry, dark berry, spice, mocha and graphite, with a supple texture and a long, lingering finish.
Product size: 750ml