Screaming Eagle, 'The Flight-Second Flight', Napa Valley, California, 2018 (OWC-3 Pack) through Merchant of Wine.

Screaming Eagle, 'The Flight-Second Flight', Napa Valley, California, 2018 (OWC-3 Pack)

Regular price $3,295.95 Sale price $3,600.00

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Overview of the Wine
Screaming Eagle is one of Napa Valley's smallest wineries. The little stone winery is perched on a rocky hillside in the Oakville Appellation overlooking the vineyard planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in 65% new French oak barrels for almost two years. Annual production is approximately 500 cases with most wine sold directly to consumers via a mailing list. The winery's first release was approximately 200 cases of the 1992 vintage.

To understand the wines made by The Hilt, one might need to come visit the hard and harsh conditions under which they are born. The unobstructed, ocean facing east-west valley known as Sta. Rita Hills Valley is a complex AVA. One could divide it into four quadrants: northern-facing, southern-facing, close to the ocean, and further inland from the ocean. With such a frame, The Hilt’s favorite vineyards are in the northern-facing, closest to the ocean, windswept quadrant. These sites are the worst place for a grape grower, but the best ones for a winemaker. Rancho Salsipuedes, where The Hilt wines make their home, provides vineyards planted on land nearly 13 unobstructed miles from the ocean on the west. This unique, large and sprawling property offers a range of altitudes, aspects, soil types, and microclimates, giving winemaker Matt Dees a patchwork of vineyard parcels from which to select grapes and create wines with distinctive styles.

Diverse though it may be, Salsipuedes possesses some aspects that remain consistent: the land has poor soils that force vines to dig deep; there are powerful, whipping winds and a cold maritime climate that allow grapes on the property to ripen slowly and retain acidity despite the warm daytime sun; and the vines on the property are low in vigor, allowing them to produce low yields of concentrated, complex grapes. It is with these three important components – poor soils, whipping winds and a cool maritime climate along with low vigor vines – that Salsipuedes defines itself in the Sta. Rita Hills.

    Grape / Blend
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot

    Origin
    Oakville, Napa Valley, California

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes
    The beauty of growing and making wine instinctually is that it allows one to see vintage purely reflected in the bottle, and this has been especially true of The Flight in recent vintages. The 2018 captures the quintessential elegance that only the world’s greatest merlot exhibits: complex layers of spice and red fruit, a perfect balance of power and freshness, fine tannins, and a texture reminiscent of satin.

    98 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
    Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 The Flight drifts sensuously out of the glass with the most gorgeous perfume of red roses, kirsch, black raspberries and fresh blackcurrants followed by hints of iron ore, tilled soil, lavender and star anise plus a touch of powdered cinnamon. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a fantastically chiseled structure of ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the black fruit and floral layers, finishing with bags of minerals.

    95 Points - Vinous
    The 2018 The Flight is bright and effusive from the outset. A rush of ripe red/purplish fruit makes a strong opening statement. Pliant, racy and enveloping, the 2018 offers terrific immediacy, with soft contours and silky tannins adding to its considerable allure. Rose petal, lavender and blood orange infuse the silky, creamy finish with gorgeous layers of nuance. I would give the 2018 a few years to allow the tannins to soften, but it will be hard to resist until then.

    Product size: 750ml

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