Screaming Eagle Cabernet OR The Island?
Yes, it’s true. Napa Valley’s Screaming Eagle winery has been sold. It is, perhaps the most iconic of California’s Cult Wineries and likely the inspiration for a number of new Napa Winery owners who both wanted the kind of prestige that this operation brought its owner and who also eyed the kind of cash it generated.
Think about it: 500 cases of wine annually. $300 per bottle. That’s $1.8 Million. That’s some inspiration.
There was a time, however, when Screaming Eagle made lots of money not only for its owner, but for a huge number of people on its mailing list.
Back at the turn of the decade, Screaming Eagle was the most sought after wine made in America. If you were on the mailing list you could buy it for $75 to $100. However, if you wanted to purchase the wine and were not on the mailing list, that was a different story. The "aftermarket for Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon was running in the neighborhood of $300 to $400 per bottle.
So, imagine you are on the mailing list and you bought six bottles. You could put the wine down and look forward to popping the cork one day at a future anniversary or special event. Or, you could sell the wine immediately at auction and take a Caribbean vacation.
I’ve had the opportunity to taste Screaming Eagle on a number of
occasions as well as several vintages. It’s proto-typical modern
California Cabernet. Dense, Rich, powerfully perfumed with moderate
tannin and actually very drinkable when young. Yet, having experienced both the wine as well as a Caribbean vacation, I’d take the latter.
The fact that a number of people on the the Screaming Eagle mailing list had the same addresses (the Winebid.com or Christies’ auction houses, wasn’t lost on the owner. The only way to slow down the immediate resale of the wine was to raise the price. It was raised and the owner still sold every bottle.
Huge over at Zinquisition has a GREAT rundown of the dealings and speculation regarding the sale of this winery.