California Cult Offering Screaming Eagle Harlan Estate Colgin and Bryant Family

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"Wine improves with age- I like it more the older I get." Anonymous

California "Cult" Offering

As expected we have started to see prices move down for some of the "blue chip" wines from California and [FIRSTNAME] we still have room for a few people (4 reservations available) for the Colgin dinner tomorrow evening at Cafe Maxx.  There has never been a better time to start collecting these "cult wines" from Napa Valley as their prices have never been better.and the some of these older vintages on this offering are selling for less than the mailing list prices for the current releases of these wines!   

Bryant Family

It is pretty amazing that even with the current state of the U.S. economy that the one thing that continues to appreciate in value is fine wine- especially the "California Cult" category.  Unfortunatlythere are not many wines in this category, in fact you can almost count them on one hand: Colgin, Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Shafer Hillside Select, Sloane, Scarecrow and of course Bryant Family.  What do these wines have in common?  Besides being from top vineyard sites and high praise from the critics, all of these wines have limited availability and cost in the $500/bottle range.  This offer contains almost every vintage of this "California Cult" wine.

2004 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa      

List $450          Sale $395

(3 Bottles available)

(95-97 Points) As for the grand vin, there are 600 cases of the beautiful 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon), which is scheduled to be bottled in November, 2007, is about six months later than former winemaker, Helen Turley, used to bottle this cuvee. Philippe Melka, who now oversees the winemaking, believes this wine merits more time in wood because of its intensity and richness, although that is a vintage by vintage decision. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a deep opaque purple color as well as a big, blackberry and floral-scented perfume offering notions of creme de cassis, spice box, and licorice. Beautifully opulent, full-bodied, and forward, it should drink well young, yet age gracefully for 12-15 years. Previously recommended: 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (96). Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006

2002 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 

List $425  Sale $395

(5 Bottles available)

(96 Points) The 2002 (800 cases) was bottled in June of 2004. It exhibits a classic Bryant profile of blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, and smoky notes (100% new Taransaud barrels are utilized), a full-bodied, powerful palate, great texture, tremendous purity, and a long, heady finish with high tannin, but it is well-integrated and sweet. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2020. Wine Advocate # 157, Feb 2005

2001 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa      

List $340   Sale $295

(5 Bottles available)

(91 Points) Undeniably ripe and fleshy, with a pretty scent of cedary oak leading to a supple core of currant and red cherry flavors that are fine and persistent on the finish. Needs time to shed its fine-grained tannins. The flavors are long and persistent on the finish, though it shows simpler than it did from barrel. Drink now through 2012. 1,000 cases made. -JL for Wine Spectator


2000 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa  

List: $405    Sale $356

(4 bottles available)

(95 Points) The 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon is an amazing tour de force. Quality like this was rare, if not impossible to obtain in 2000. From bottle, the wine is performing even better than it did from cask. The color is an opaque black/ruby/purple, and the amazing aromatic concoction includes notes of melted licorice, minerals, smoky toast, and blackberry as well as cassis liqueur. Full-bodied, thick, and juicy, it is a voluptuous effort to drink now and over the next 15-16 years. It is a brilliant achievement, surpassed by none, and equaled only by a few other northern California 2000s. Wine Advocate # 150, Dec 2003

1998 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa  

List $335  Sale $295 

(2 Bottles available)

(93 Points) The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill is a fine wine. While it does not reveal much weight, it is a dense plum/purple-colored, big, thick, concentrated effort. Evolved aromas of smoke, cedar, tapenade, blackberries, creme de cassis, and creosote are followed by a lush, full-bodied, voluptuously-textured 1998 exhibiting superb intensity as well as low acid, sweet, pure flavors. This is a dazzling example of extremely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon made under less than ideal conditions. It will drink well upon its release, and over the following two decades. Wine Advocate # 132, Dec 2000

1997 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $1130        Sale $995

(3 Bottles available)

(100 Points) I have consumed several bottles of the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill. One of the most awesome young reds I have ever tasted, it possesses a black/purple color, a seamless texture, and freakishly high levels of intensity (cassis, black and blueberries infused with espresso, chocolate, and licorice) that are flawlessly presented in a full-bodied, massive yet elegant wine. Nothing is out of balance in this explosively rich, thick, highly-extracted Cabernet. A compelling, historic Cabernet Sauvignon, it will drink well for 30-35 years. It is not too much to suggest that in the future, Bryant's Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon might well be one of the wines that redefines greatness in Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: now-2035. Wine Advocate # 132, Dec 2000

1996 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $675          Sale $595

(4 Bottles available)

(99 Points) The opaque purple-colored 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon offers a spectacular, exotic bouquet of Peking duck skins, blackberry and cassis liqueur, roasted herbs, and burning charcoal. It is phenomenally intense, with record levels of dry extract and glycerin. This hedonistic blockbuster is crammed with jammy fruits nicely buttressed and framed by adequate acidity and tannin. Drink this marvelous Cabernet Sauvignon now or cellar it for two decades. This is mind-boggling stuff! The wine from this hillside vineyard near Napa's Pritchard Hill, has already become mythical (1992 was the debut vintage). This is a wine of world-class quality, and is certainly as complete and potentially complex as any first-growth Bordeaux. To date, it has been characterized by extraordinary richness, complexity, and harmony, as well as the potential to evolve and improve for 20 or more years. Release date, Spring 1999. Wine Advocate # 120, Dec 1998

1995 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $650          Sale $575

(1 Bottle available)

(99 Points) The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon is cut from the same mold as the profound 1996, displaying astonishing levels of black fruits (the usual suspects - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cassis), phenomenal concentration, and virtually perfect balance and equilibrium. I recently wrote an article in Food and Wine magazine itemizing the characteristics of a great wine. They are: 1) the ability to please both the palate and the intellect, 2) the ability to hold the taster's interest, 3) the ability to offer intense aromas and flavors without heaviness, 4) the ability to taste better with each sip, 5) the ability to improve with age, and 6) the ability to offer a singular personality. This wine satisfies every one of those requirements. I often wonder if I get too excited about wines such as this. Yet time is on their side. I truly believe that in 20, 40, or 60 years, when the history of what appears to be a golden age for California wines is analyzed, these wines, and the work of their winemaker, will be even more admired and appreciated by future generations than they are today. Wine Advocate # 114, Dec 1997

1994 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $595          Sale $525

(3 Bottles available)

(93 Points) The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill is a fine wine. While it does not reveal much weight, it is a dense plum/purple-colored, big, thick, concentrated effort. Evolved aromas of smoke, cedar, tapenade, blackberries, creme de cassis, and creosote are followed by a lush, full-bodied, voluptuously-textured 1998 exhibiting superb intensity as well as low acid, sweet, pure flavors. This is a dazzling example of extremely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon made under less than ideal conditions. It will drink well upon its release, and over the following two decades. Wine Advocate # 132, Dec 2000     

1993 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $425          Sale $375

(5 Bottles available)

(97 Points) There are just under 1000 cases of this extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon produced from a vineyard on Pritchard Hill, a viticultural area most associated with one of Napa Valley's most conspicuous underachievers, Chappellet. Production of Bryant's Cabernet Sauvignon will drop to just over 600 cases in 1995 as one-third of the vineyard was recently replanted. Bryant's opaque black/purple-colored Cabernets are fermented with wild yeast and bottled without any clarification techniques such as filtration. They also receive a pre-fermentation five day cold maceration. This technique is used by consultant Helen Turley for all the Cabernet Sauvignons she makes. The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon has turned out even better than I predicted last year (and I thought it was an amazing wine from barrel). It exhibits an opaque purple/black color, and a huge, fragrant, penetrating bouquet of minerals, licorice, toast, and remarkable layers of black fruits. Although extremely full-bodied, the wine's hugeness and massive concentration come across as beautifully poised, balanced, and delineated. The tannin is not as sweet as in the 1994, but it is ripe. The quantity of tannin should ensure this wine's graceful evolution for another 20-25 years, although it will be easy to drink within 2-3 years. Readers are well-advised to get on the Bryant Family Vineyard's mailing list in order to secure a handful of bottles of these reference point Napa Cabernet Sauvignons. Wine Advocate # 102, Dec 1995                       

1992 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa                  

List $370          Sale $325

(1 Bottles available)

(91 Points) Over the next year readers should be on the lookout for some of the 1,000 case production of Don Bryant's Cabernet Sauvignon from an old vineyard on Pritchard Hill near the Chappellet Vineyard. Bryant's 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon offers an impressive black/purple color, rusty tannin, immense concentration, full body, and enormous richness in the finish. Wine Advocate # 99 Jun 1995


A bit about Bryant Family

Situated high above Lake Hennessey, Bryant Family Vineyard is one of a handful of Napa Valley vineyards that can claim the moderating influence of a large body of water. Winds blow over the mountains from the west, are drawn down to and across the cool waters of Lake Hennessey and travel directly up a natural chute to the Bryant Family Vineyard.  This breezeway makes the vineyard unique and enhances the quality of fruit as the winds cool the grapes on hot summer days.  The uniqueness of the fruit is the basis for this special wine along with an outstanding winemaking team and brand new, gravity fed winery that was specifically designed and constructed for this vineyard.

Bryant Family is owned by Louisiana native Don Bryant, and its new winery building was designed by Gyo Obata, founding partner of the St. Louis-based international design firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc. (HOK).  Don Bryant is known for being an avid art collector and the chairman of Bryant Group Inc., whose love of the finer things in life has drawn him to collecting fine wine, which to Bryant would be described as art in a bottle.  

Although, Bryant is a multimillionaire, he will attest that the best things in life are free and to develop a taste for art you don’t have to be rich.  "Go to a gallery," Bryant says. "There are no admission charges. You can just walk in, and you can ask questions about the gallery or perhaps the artist, if they’re there, what the piece is about."  Another good place to start is auction houses, such as Clayton’s Ivey-Selkirk. Before the sale there are usually open houses attended by specialists who can answer technical questions.  "Bring your friends," Don suggests.  "If you’re unsure of your own eye, use someone else’s."  He also encourages people to seek out and support living artists. "All the art you see hanging in museums was at one time contemporary."  Unfortunately, when it comes to the world of fine wine, you will need a six figure budget to enjoy one bottle of Don’s wine- it currently sells for $300-$500 per bottle in the open market.

Bryant says that in the upper echelon of the art world, money will only get you so far. "They are particular about where they place their works, if you’re dealing with estates. It’s like anything need to show you’re a serious person about art, that you’re doing it for your love and interest for art."   The wine world is very similar in that the best names will only work with people who have the commitment and the passion to pursue the best, even when it means sacrificing the bottom line.  Bryant’s first vintage was from the outstanding 1992 harvest and every vintage since has produced one of the most compelling wines from Napa Valley.  The 1998 and 2000 vintages, two of the most challenging for Napa Vintners still fetch a lofty amount, especially when you consider that most of the top names had to discount their wines heavily to clear their stocks.     

One of the reasons that Bryant does not have a problem selling his wine is the limited production.  To start there were just under 1000 cases of this extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon produced from a vineyard on Pritchard Hill, a viticultural area most associated with one of Napa Valley's most conspicuous underachievers, Chappellet.  Production of Bryant's Cabernet Sauvignon dropped to just over 600 cases in 1995 as one-third of the vineyard was replanted and the production as of this 2000 vintage wine is back to its 1,000 case level.

Bryant's opaque black/purple-colored Cabernets are fermented with wild yeast and bottled without any clarification techniques such as filtration. They also receive a pre-fermentation five day cold maceration, This technique is used by former consultant Helen Turley for all the Cabernet Sauvignons she makes. Unfortunately, Turley and Bryant had a falling out which turned into big news in the wine industry when Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer won $255,000 in back pay from Don Bryant for breach of contract.  The only good news for Don, was that this was way below the $556,958 that the couple had asked. The jury decided that Ms. Turley had not looked for work elsewhere or something like that.

The enormously promising, potentially perfect 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those rare wines that possess awesome aromatic, flavor, and texture dimensions. Totally dry, it comes across as sweet because of its highly extracted, ripe fruit. Opaque purple/black-colored, with a knock-out nose of black fruit (cassis and black-raspberries), this wine hits the palate with phenomenal concentration that brilliantly manages to be neither heavy nor overbearing. Plenty of velvety tannin is concealed behind the fruit's remarkable intensity. The wine's purity, presence, and finish are unbelievable.   The 2000 vintage from California featured many forward and drinkable wines, but very few that were praised by the critics.  We will attest to the fact that 2000 may not have been a "great vintage", however there are a few great wines from every vintage and this Bryant is "The Wine of the Vitnage" for us.



Ann Barry Colgin, owner of Colgin Cellars in Napa Valley, California has helped forge a world-renowned reputation for California’s small production, hand-crafted red wines. The Colgin Cellars’ intensely endowed wines are produced from exceptional hillside vineyards in the St. Helena area of Napa Valley. These unique sites, coupled with the highest quality vineyard management and neo-classical winemaking techniques, produce wines with distinctive personalities. Founded in 1992, Colgin Cellars produces five wines: Tychson Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Herb Lamb Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Cariad Napa Valley Red Wine, IX Estate Napa Valley Red Wine and IX Estate Syrah.

2005 Colgin IX Proprietary Red Napa                                    

List $450          Sale $396

(1 bottle available)

(97 Points)  My favorite of the 2005 Colgins is the 2005 IX Proprietary Red Estate, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The good news is that there are 1,500 cases of this blockbuster wine, which has a Bordeaux framework but the exuberance and richness as well as fruit purity of a great Napa wine. Deep purple in color with an extraordinary nose of scorched earth, blueberries, and black currants intermixed with some subtle charcoal notes, spice, box and spring flowers, it is very full-bodied, but beautifully structured and well-delineated. With good acidity despite what is an extremely high pH (3.9), the total acids are reasonable. This is a beauty of harmony, power, and great intensity, but it is light on its feet, and an exceptional example of what this high-elevation hillside estate vineyard is capable of producing. This wine should hit its prime in 5-6 years and last for three or more decades.

2004 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard  Napa 

List $525          Sale $462

(1 bottle available)

(95 Points) There are 188 cases of the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard. This inky/purple cuvee exhibits a scorched earth, flowery, blueberry, and blackberry-scented bouquet with hints of barbecue spices, pain grille, licorice, and espresso roast. Full-bodied, opulent, and dense, with considerable tannin lurking underneath all the extract and structure, it needs 2-3 years of cellaring and should age nicely for 20-25 years .Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006

2004 Colgin Proprietary Red Wine IX Estate Napa                

List $425          Sale $374

(1 bottle available)

(98 Points)  The 2004 IX Proprietary Red Wine (1,258 cases from a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot) is amazing out of bottle. Flamboyant, super-fragrant aromas of graphite, creme de cassis, espresso roast, flowers, and the entire black and blue fruit spectrum jump from the glass of this gorgeous wine. In the mouth, silky tannin and a multi-dimensional, skyscraper-like mouthfeel are offered without heaviness or coarseness. This totally profound wine exhibits what a great site, extraordinary winemaking, and a commitment to excellence can produce. It should drink well for two decades.

2003 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb vineyard  Napa 

List $450          Sale $396

(1 bottle available)

(94 Points) The dense ruby/purple-tinged, elegant 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard (230 cases) reveals sweet notes of roasted herbs, white chocolate, and black currants, medium to full body, supple tannin, and a stunning, 40- to 45-second finish. Already approachable, this lovely Cabernet should evolve for 15 or more years.  Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006

2002 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Napa

List $525          Sale $462

(1 bottle available)

(96 Points) The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard (220 cases) exhibits a dense purple color in addition to a big, rich bouquet of grilled meats, dried herbs, ground pepper, espresso, blackberries, cassis, and blueberries. This seriously endowed yet elegant Cabernet is full-bodied, dense, and rich with sweet tannin as well as a surprising accessibility - a characteristic of this exciting vintage. Anticipated maturity: now-2020. Wine Advocate # 157, Feb 2005

2002 Colgin IX Proprietary Red Napa

List $525          Sale $462

(1 bottle available)

(98 Points) The 2002 IX Proprietary Red Estate (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot) offers up wonderful scents of Asian soy sauce intermixed with creosote, smoked herbs, blackberries, and cassis. There is a Bordeaux structure super-imposed on a wine of compelling intensity, richness, and purity. Spicy, incense-like notes also emerge from this distinctive effort. Unlike the Cariad or Tychson Hill, the IX cuvee has a boatload of tannin to shed. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 20-25 years. Wine Advocate # 157, Feb 2005

1999 Colgin Red Cariad Napa                                   

List $375.00     Sale $330.00

(1 bottle available)

(91 Points)  The 1999 Cariad (450 cases) is a Bordeaux-like blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot that could easily pass for a high-class Medoc. It offers a complex nose of cedar, spice box, minerals, currants, and loamy soil, with well-integrated sweet oak, a layered texture, wonderful elegance, sweet fruit, and terrific length. It is hard to believe this wine was aged in 100% new Taransaud barrels as their influence is subtle. The vintage's austerity is evident in the wine's finish, so 3-4 years of cellaring is suggested. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2018. Colgin's new proprietary red wine offering (which I referred to as Madrona Ranch in issue #132 of The Wine Advocate) has been officially named "Cariad" (Welsh for "love"). The fruit for this cuvee comes from Madrona Ranch, located in the northwestern corner of St. Helena. The only exception is a tiny amount of Petit Verdot (ranging from 5%-7% in the final blend) that emerges from a vineyard owned by David Abreu and Ric Foreman called Thorevilos. Colgin, which is already a so-called "cult" wine, seems to have pushed the envelope of quality even higher ... as hard as that is to believe. As always, the truth is in the bottle ... in vino veritas. Wine Advocate # 142, Aug 2002

A bit about Colgin Cellars:

Pursuing a dream of having estate grown grapes, Ann Colgin purchased a five-acre parcel north of St. Helena across from Freemark Abbey Winery in 1996. The property once belonged to Josephine Tychson, documented as the first woman winemaker in California. Ann planted two and one-half acres of Cabernet Sauvignon under the supervision of vineyard manager, David Abreu in 1997. The special terroir features a unique Aiken soil type which runs from Grace Family Vineyard to just north of the property, now known as "Tychson Hill Vineyard." The Aiken soils coupled with carefully selected rootstock and clones on the rocky east-facing slope give a remarkable fresh berry scented wine of great proportions. In 2000 Ann and her husband, Joe Wender, completed the rebuilding of Josephine Tychson's 19th Century home.

Tychson Hill is rich with history. In 1881 Josephine Tychson and her husband, John, a Danish immigrant bought twenty-six acres including "Tychson Hill Vineyard" for $8,500. The property was known as Lodi Ranch and had been acquired by William Sayward in 1867 from Charles Krug. The couple planted vineyards and dreamed of building a winery. Tragically, John who was stricken with tuberculosis died in 1886 at an early age leaving Josephine with two young children, John Jr. and Annette.  Josephine was a determined and courageous young woman and she had a great desire to fulfill their expansion plans.  The St. Helena Star of August 27, 1886 noted that Mrs. Tychson was building a cellar on her property with an estimated capacity of between 20,000 and 30,000 gallons.

Josephine made wine there for eight years producing Zinfandel, Reisling and Burgundy, popular varietals of the time.  In 1894 she sold the winery and a portion of the vineyards to her foreman, Nels Larsen for reasons that are not entirely clear. Phylloxera had affected some of her vineyards in 1893 and Josephine had suffered health problems throughout her life and perhaps these concerns prompted the sale.  She lived alone in the two-story house at Tychson Hill until her death in 1939.  She was 84 years old.  Following Josephine's death, her son, John Jr. moved into the house with his wife, Pearl. He lived there until 1970 when he was 90 years old.  The property had various owners during the next two decades until Ann purchased it and began the long process of restoring the vineyards, believed to have been taken out during prohibition, and eventually rebuilding the house.

Ann Barry Colgin, owner of Colgin Cellars, heads a highly talented team who produce some of Napa Valley’s most sought after hand-crafted wines. Colgin founded the winery in 1992 with a vision of making the finest wines possible from exceptional hillside vineyards in Napa Valley. Each of the five wines produced at Colgin Cellars displays a distinctive personality and sense of place. Colgin’s commitment to excellence and her appreciation of art and history are reflected in all aspects of the winery and the wines produced there.

Colgin wears multiple hats in the wine industry. As an accomplished auctioneer, she donates her time at select charity wine auctions including the Naples Winter Wine Festival in Naples, Florida. She has helped to develop many top charity wine auctions in the United States including the High Museum Wine Auction in Atlanta, Georgia, the Bacchus Gala Wine Auction for Copia, The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California and the Neil Bogart Foundation Wine Auction in Los Angeles, California. In 2003 she was honored by New York-Presbyterian Hospital as the first recipient of the "Ann Colgin Award for Corporate Philanthropy." In 2006 she was the Honoree for the NY City Opera Spring Gala and she was selected Honored Vintner for the 2007 Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Born in Waco, Texas, Colgin completed her undergraduate work at Vanderbilt University and received her M.A. from New York University. She also completed the Sotheby’s Decorative Works of Art Course in London, England. An avid arts and antiques enthusiast, Colgin was President of Fairchilds Fine Art, Inc. based in Florida from 1985 to 1997.  Ann Colgin serves as Consultant for Sotheby’s Wine Department. She is a board member of the High Museum in Atlanta and the Neil Bogart Memorial Foundation in Los Angeles. Ann and her husband, Joe Wender, are investors in the negotiant, Camille Giroud in Burgundy and the second growth Bordeaux estate, Chateau Lascombes. Colgin divides her time between homes in Los Angeles and St. Helena where she rebuilt the historic home once owned by Josephine Tychson, Napa Valley’s first female vintner.  

Ann has left nothing to chance after she acquired the right vineyard site she assembled an all star line-up at Colgin.  First she hired the best vineyard manger in California David Abreu. Then she hired one of the hottest winemakers Mark Aubert and finally she went as far as hiring a famous enologist from Bordeaux Alain Reynaud as a collaborator.

Mark Aubert grew up in St. Helena on Rockland Road, a stone's throw from Tychson Hill Vineyard. He joined the Colgin Cellars team as winemaker in 1999 following a fruitful career with Peter Michael Winery. A graduate of California State University at Fresno, he began his career at Rutherford Hill as Enologist then went on to work at Monticello Cellars. In 1990 he became assistant winemaker to Helen Turley at Peter Michael Winery and took over the role of winemaker upon her departure. He produced exceptional wines at Peter Michael for over ten years and still serves as a Consultant there.  Mark is known for his classical winemaking techniques and also contributed his expertise to the design of our new state-of-the art winery in the Pritchard Hill area of Napa Valley. He spends much of his time in our vineyards working closely with David Abreu.

David Abreu is a third generation native of Napa Valley. He grew up in Rutherford where his parents were ranchers. In 1980 he founded David Abreu Vineyard Management. He focuses on vineyards in the Napa Valley from Oakville to Calistoga and is renowned for his knowledge of the terroirs of the area. He is the vineyard manager for the Tychson Hill Vineyard and IX Estate. David's vineyard workers remain constant from year to year, getting to know our properties intimately, and making informed decisions on pruning, canopy management and crop thinning. The signature of an Abreu vineyard is the meticulous care, which shows in the precise, even rows of perfectly maintained vines. He is a perfectionist.

"Dr. Raynaud brings an exciting facet to our team," according to Ann Colgin. "His dedication to neo-classical winemaking techniques and attention to detail are the perfect compliment to Aubert and Abreu." Raynaud collaborates in the exchange of ideas and information to enhance the Colgin Cellars' line." I am greatly impressed with the wines Colgin is producing. This is a personal project I am deeply committed to and will be my only venture in the U.S." said Raynaud.  Raynaud's lineage in wine production dates back to the 15th century with his family winery in Bordeaux. He left the industry to pursue a career in medicine and returned in 1998 to craft some of the most sought after small production wines in Bordeaux, including La Fleur De Gay and La Croix De Gay in Pomerol and Chateau Quinault in St. Emillion. Raynaud supervises the production of Chateau Lascombes, Margaux in which Colgin and her husband, Joe Wender, are investors. From 1994-2000 Raynaud served as President of the Union Des Grands Crus De Bordeaux, representing top Bordeaux wines around the world.


Harlan Estate

For nearly two decades, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "First Growth" wine estate.  But long before this William Harlan had his eye on the Napa Valley and had been strategically planning his vision of creating a world class wine including 25 years of studying what it would take to create a wine estate that would survive for generations.  Harlan began visiting Napa Valley in the late 1950s while a student at the University of California at Berkeley.  Before he entered into the wine business he first created many successful businesses- most prominently Pacific Union, a holding company whose properties include the Meadowood Resort in Napa Valley.

In 1985, Harlan purchased over 240 acres of natural splendor set in the western hills of Oakville, rising above the fabled Napa Valley benchlands.  The oak-studded knolls and valleys, roughly fifteen percent of which are under vine, planted to the classic varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is a beautifully designed, immaculately kept vineyard, with neatly contoured rows of vines, some on quite precipitous angles.  But more than that, it is a family homestead; a place of great inspiration, carved from the raw land, built for generations. 

Harlan's exacting nature requires the best vineyard and winemaking team, which he has kept intact for most of the past 15 years.  His winemaker, Bob Levy, has worked with him for 17 years, dating back to their years at Merryvale, where Harlan once owned a part-interest.  Levy, says Harlan, knows the vineyard well and knows how to get the most from its grapes.  Harlan has also called upon the advice and expertise of Michel Rolland, the highly respected Bordeaux consultant.  Through hard work and years of research and development Bill Harlan and Bob Levy have created one of the most sought after wines not only in Napa Valley but the world over! 

2003 Harlan Estate, Napa Magnum

List $1110        Sale $975        

(3 Bottles Available)

(95 Points)  The bottled 2003 Harlan Estate is as good or even better than I had hoped. With a dark ruby/purple color, silky tannin, and abundant quantities of licorice, graphite, chocolate, espresso, black currant, truffle, and earthy characteristics, it comes across like a hypothetical blend of a top-notch Pauillac and Graves. Superb texture, low acidity, and gorgeous purity as well as richness suggest it will drink well for two decades or more.  Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006

2002 Harlan Estate, Napa Magnum

List $2250        Sale $1980      

(1 Bottles Available)

(100 Points) I believe the 2001 Harlan Estate and 2002 Harlan Estate’s 100 point scores represent the first time I have given perfect ratings to two successive wines produced in the New World. However, the styles of the two wines couldn’t be more different as each reflects its particular vintage. The 2001 is a classic, long-lived, backward wine with most of its potential concealed at present. On the other hand, it is impossible to resist the flamboyant, extroverted 2002 Harlan Estate’s charm, richness, and overall seductive personality. This profoundly complex wine exhibits notes of cedar, black currant liqueur, scorched earth, smoke, and graphite. Incredibly broad, sweet, full-bodied, opulent, and voluptuous, it literally has everything one could ever want in a great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine. Already drinkable, it promises to evolve effortlessly for 25-30 years. This prodigious offering is worth mortgaging the farm!  Wine Advocate # 162, Dec 2005

2000 Harlan Estate Napa                             

List $425          Sale $375        

(5 Bottles Available)

2000 Harlan Estate, Napa Magnum

List $900          Sale $792

(1 Bottles Available)

(91 Points)  I have never been totally convinced by the 2000 Harlan Estate, but now that it’s in bottle, it is a very fine offering. The problem is that it must be compared with the other Harlan Estate wines made to date. A Graves-like perfume of roasted coffee, scorched earth, black currants, cedar, and a hint of menthol emerge from this dense dark ruby/purple-colored 2000. Lighter than normal, but medium to full-bodied and elegant, with soft tannin as well as a silky, precocious personality and texture, it can be drunk now and over the next 12 years. Harlan Estate and its perfectionist owner, Bill Harlan, who is backed up by the peerless team of Michel Rolland and Bob Levy, is truly an estate of monumental aspirations that more often than not hits the proverbial bull’s eye. None of the wines produced since 1990 has yet reached full maturity. While the 2000 is their lightest vintage to date, it is no wimpy wine. As I have written so many times before, what makes Harlan such a singular tasting experience is that while it is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated offering from the hillsides above the Oakville Corridor, and it obviously has the power and extraordinary ripeness afforded by Napa Valley’s favorable viticultural climate, it has a degree of complexity that is only shared by a handful of other California Cabernet-based wines, and the finest Bordeaux. Harlan Estate represents exactly what a genius owner, who suffers no fools, and refuses to make any compromises, is capable of achieving ... is that a surprise?  Wine Advocate # 150, December 2003

1999 Harlan Estate, Napa                            

List $485          Sale $427        

(1 Bottles Available)

(92 Points)  "The 1999 Harlan Estate (1,700 cases) reveals moderately intense aromatics of sweet vanilla, menthol, espresso, chocolate, and cassis. The wine is medium to full-bodied, suave, and elegant. It is more restrained and not as intense as previous vintages, reflecting 1999's cool growing season. Nevertheless, this is still an outstanding wine. The finish is long, elegant, and Bordeaux-like. It is not as prodigious as the Harlans produced between 1991 and 1998. I would rank it behind all those wines. Anticipated maturity: now-2016.  The objective at Harlan is simple ... low yields, ripe fruit, no razzle dazzle in terms of fermentation, a natural upbringing, and bottling without clarification."    Wine Advocate #142 (Aug 2002)

1998 Harlan Estate Napa                             

List $510          Sale $450

(3 Bottles Available)

1998 Harlan Estate Napa Magnum 

List $1250        Sale $1100      

(1 Bottles Available)

(95 Points)  "The 1998, which is a candidate for the ""Wine of the Vintage,"" was produced from yields of 0.9 tons per acre. There are only 1,100 cases, and it is the first Harlan Estate to be composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A spectacular achievement, it boasts an opaque plum/purple color as well as a sumptuous nose of espresso, mineral, blueberry, blackberry, tobacco, licorice, Asian spice, and roasted meat smells. In the mouth, it is seamless, full-bodied, with an unctuous texture, gorgeously sweet tannin, and layer upon layer of concentration. This is a tour de force in winemaking. It is hard to believe that a wine such as this has emerged from 1998. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030."        Wine Advocate #132 (Dec 2000)

1997 Harlan Estate, Napa  Magnum           

List $2550        Sale $2244

(1 Bottles Available)    

(100 Points)    "The 1997 Harlan Estate is one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines I have ever tasted. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this enormously-endowed, profoundly rich wine must be tasted to be believed. Opaque purple-colored, it boasts spectacular, soaring aromatics of vanilla, minerals, coffee, blackberries, licorice, and cassis. In the mouth, layer after layer unfold powerfully yet gently. Acidity, tannin, and alcohol are well-balanced by the wine's unreal richness and singular personality. The finish exceeds one minute. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2030."    Wine Advocate #132 (Dec 2000)

1996 Harlan Estate Napa Magnum 

List $1650        Sale $1450      

(1 Bottles Available)    

(98 Points)  "The 1996 Proprietary Red Wine appears to be one of the vintage's most noteworthy offerings. Some 1996s tend to be rustic, with more obtrusive tannin than their 1995 and 1994 counterparts, but that charge cannot be made here. The 1996 exhibits a tell-tale opaque purple/plum color, as well as a spectacular soaring nose of wood fire, roasted herbs, black currants, tobacco, minerals, and all spice. The wine is full-bodied and multi-layered, with terrific flavor concentration, well-integrated tannin, and a blockbuster finish. This is another candidate for perfection. As accolades spilled from my mouth like a baby dribbling milk, I was told the wine had been bottled the day before my visit! Anticipated maturity: 2004-2035.   Proprietor Bill Harlan, his winemaker, Bob Levy, and consultant, Frenchman Michel Rolland continue to produce what may be the single most profound wine in California. This wine possesses all the elements of greatness - individuality, power combined with elegance, extraordinary complexity, remarkable aging potential, and compelling richness without ponderousness. The vintages produced to date give signs of improving in the bottle for 20-30+ years. In 1995, a second wine, which has not yet been named, has been produced, which allows the selection process to be even more severe once the 35-acre vineyard is in full production. Recent production has been 1,500 cases for the 1994, 1,200 cases for the 1995, 1,500 for the 1996, and approximately 2,500 cases for the 1997. Many readers who have been on the waiting list for Harlan Estate may finally receive an allocation in 1997. This year produced the highest yields to date (a still modest 2.7 tons per acre) at this hillside vineyard."  Wine Advocate #120 (Dec 1998)

1994 Harlan Estate, Napa Magnum Signed by Bill Harlan           

List $3000        Sale $2650

(1 Bottle Available)

(100 Points)  What can I say about the 1994? I have tasted the wine for three consecutive years, and each time it satisfied all of my requirements for perfection. The opaque purple color is followed by spectacular aromatics that soar from the glass, offering up celestial levels of black currants, minerals, smoked herbs, cedar wood, coffee, and pain grille. In the mouth, this seamless legend reveals full body, and exquisite layers of phenomenally pure and rich fruit, followed by a 40+ second finish. While accessible, the 1994 begs for another 5-7 years of cellaring. It should easily last for 30+ years. Every possible jagged edge - acidity, alcohol, tannin, and wood - is brilliantly intertwined in what seems like a diaphanous format. What is so extraordinary about this large-scaled wine, with its dazzling display of aromatics and prodigious flavors and depth, is that it offers no hint of heaviness or coarseness. Harlan's 1994 comes close to immortality in the glass. Much of this wine will be sold to the winery's mailing list customers. If you miss out on the 1994, try and get on the waiting list for future vintages. While perfect wines are few and far between, history has taught me that wineries with such lofty aspirations as Harlan Estate will continue to push the envelop of quality.  Wine Advocate # 114, December 1997

1993 Harlan Estate Napa                             

List $540          Sale $475        

(3 Bottles Available)

(95 Points)  The 1993 should be as prodigious as the 1992. It is an opaque purple-colored wine with spectacular ripeness, purity, and potential. Dense, full-bodied, with a chocolatey, toasty, mineral, and blackcurrant-scented nose, this wine has a rich, full-bodied, chewy texture nicely buttressed by ripe tannin. In addition, the wine reveals more noticeable tannin in the finish, particularly when it is compared to the 1992 or 1994. This is another 20-25 year wine.  Wine Advocate # 108, Dec 1996

1992 Harlan Estate Napa                             

List $740          Sale $650        

(1 Bottles Available)

(96 Points)  The newest release, the 1992, offers a dense purple color, and a splendid sweet nose of minerals, blackcurrants, toast, and spice. Opulent and rich, with full body, and well-integrated sweet tannin, this expansive yet graceful wine possesses layers of flavor that caress the palate. The wine is accessible, yet still youthful and unformed. It should drink well for 20+ years.  Dazzling wines! I urge interested readers to get their names on the winery's mailing list if they want to purchase these wines.  Wine Advocate # 108, Dec 1996

1991 Harlan Estate, Napa                            

List $825          Sale $726        

(3 Bottles Available)

(98 Points)  This is a profoundly great wine. It came across in a blind tasting as one of the most remarkable wines there, with most tasters mistaking it for a first-growth Medoc. The wine revealed an opaque purple color, a fabulously complex, sweet nose of minerals, fruitcake, cedar, toasty new oak, and pure blackcurrant fruit. Although huge in the mouth, the wine is remarkably well-balanced, with its high tannin level well-concealed by copious quantities of sweet ripe fruit, as well as huge amounts of glycerin and extract. I have consistently rated the 1991 Harlan Estate in the mid to upper nineties, but in this blind tasting with so many high quality wines, it was a big-time winner. Approachable now, this wine should be at its best by the turn of the century and last for 2-3 decades.


Screaming Eagle


What is the most sought after of all the California Cult wines?  Screaming Eagle has the killer name along with the numbers to back it up according to Robert Parker Jr. in the Wine Advocate.  The combination of extremely low production and high praise from the nations leading wine critic has lead the price of this collectible into the stratosphere.  We show this wine every year at our annual California cult tasting and this year the 2001 was the show stopper and many felt it was the wine of the night.  This is the first time that we have ever been able to amass enough of this wine to send out an offering.


Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon  1992 

List $7989        Sale $6999

(1 bottle available)

(99 Points) This small operation is located just below the Dalla Valle vineyard near the Oakville Cross.  Screaming Eagle's Cabernet Sauvignons are going to create quite a stir among lovers of that varietal - if they are able to latch onto a bottle or two.  The estate is owned by Tony Bowden and Jean Phillips, one of Napa Valley's leading real estate agents.  With the help of Heidi Barrett and Gustav Dalla Valle, this operation's debut vintage is the extraordinary 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the greatest young Cabernets I have ever tasted. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and aged in 60% new oak. It is only sold via a mailing list, so readers who want to taste one of the most exciting young wines being produced should get on the list. The 175 cases of the 1992 are followed by only 130 cases of the 1993, and a tiny quantity of 1994, as the last two vintages were even smaller in crop size.

The 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptionally impressive. The wine's opaque purple color is followed by a sensational nose of jammy blackcurrants and subtle toasty oak. As stunning as the aromatics are, the wine reveals even greater richness and intensity on the palate, offering up layers of stunningly proportioned, ripe, intense fruit, full body, great purity, and an inner-core of sweet, creamy, highly extracted blackcurrant/cassis fruit. The tannin is nearly concealed behind the massive extract and richness. All the component parts are brilliantly focused and in balance. The finish is awesome! This is a spectacular debut release that should age effortlessly for 20 years.  Wine Advocate # 102, Dec 1995

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1996           

List $2275        Sale $2000

(2 bottles available)

(97 Points)  The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon (500 cases) reveals more noticeable tannin than the 1995, as well as a similarly opaque purple color, and a tell-tale creme de cassis-scented nose intermixed with subtle toasty oak, licorice, and flower blossoms. The 1996 may be a bit brawnier, but that is a tough call to make at this stage. This enormously concentrated, yet strikingly elegant Cabernet Sauvignon will require bottle aging when released. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.

As I have tried so hard to articulate in past reviews, what makes these wines so stunning is the black currant/cassis fruit. Screaming Eagle may be the most extravagantly pure and rich expression of cassis one can find ... short of drinking cassis liqueur. There is an unbelievable purity to these wines, as well as phenomenal concentration and richness, yet in no sense are they heavy, ponderous, or out of balance.  Wine Advocate # 126, Jan 2000

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1998                       

List $1500        Sale $1320

(3 bottles available)

(94 Points)  The 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was bottled in late June, has turned out even better that I thought last year. It boasts a saturated ruby/purple color in addition to an expressive bouquet of cassis, minerals, and smoke. This multi-textured, round wine exhibits sweet, well-integrated tannin, a great mid-palate and finish, as well as spectacular purity and palate presence. Consume it now and over the next 15-20 years.

There are 500 cases of this wine. As most readers know, this wine has become the ultimate collector's Cabernet Sauvignon, routinely fetching $800 to as much as $2000 a bottle at wine auctions. Of course, this makes no sense to me or Screaming Eagle's owner, the amiable Jean Phillips, who sells the wine for $125 a bottle. Unquestionably an exquisite wine, it offers remarkably rich creme de cassis aromas and flavors in an unmanipulated, compelling fashion. The winemaking is assisted by well-known consultant Heidi Barrett. From the red, iron-rich soils of the Oakville District, the wine is aged in 65% new French oak for 18-20 months.  Wine Advocate # 132, Dec 2000

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2001             

List $1900        Sale $1672

(3 bottles available)

(98 Points)  The 2001 (only 450 cases) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Dense purple-colored with a classic nose of black currant liqueur intermixed with licorice, a touch of earth, smoke, and discreet toast, this is a powerful, tannic, dense, young offering revealing Screaming Eagle’s classic trademarks of fragrance, purity, nobility, and an extraordinary intensity of black currant fruit in a full-bodied, seamless style. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025+.  Wine Advocate # 157

Feb 2005

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2002             

List $2000        Sale $1760

(2 bottles available)

(99 Points)  The 2002 is reminiscent of the 1992, exhibiting a precociousness out of the gate, but capable of lasting 20-25 years. Deep purple-colored to the rim, with a gorgeously pure nose of creme de cassis with a hint of sweet cherry, licorice, and smoke, this wine is beautifully voluptuous, full-bodied, yet incredibly elegant, with a finish that goes on for close to a minute. It is more showy than either the 2001 or the 2003.  Wine Advocate # 157, Feb 2005

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2003             

List $1565        Sale $1375

(3 bottles available)

(95 Points)  The 2003 has been in bottle for over a year and continues to be a beautiful wine, dense ruby/purple in color with wonderful purity of creme de cassis. It is that black currant liqueur purity, richness, and depth that is one of the shining characteristics of this wine. Extraordinarily pure, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, and concentrated, but still young and primary. There is plenty of tannin underlying the wealth of fruit and, if anything, the wine seems to have firmed up since I had it last year. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2020+. The 2003 is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc.  Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2004             

List $1500        Sale $1320

(2 bottles available)

(95 Points)  The 2004, which is nearly 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, with tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, is an up-front style of wine. There were originally around 800 cases of this wine, but Banks and his crew culled out in excess of 200 or so cases, so the quantity produced is approximately 500. The wine has a dark ruby/purple color and a sweet cassis nose with some licorice and very subtle camphor and earth. The wine is exceptionally pure, beautifully textured, opulent, and forward, which is very much in keeping with the style of this vintage. It can be drunk now or cellared for 15 or more years.  Wine Advocate # 174, Dec 2007


About Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyard

Screaming Eagle is one of Napa Valley's smallest wineries, and a California cult wine favorite. The little stone winery (a 12- by 18-foot stone building off Silverado Trail) 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 in a small cave for almost two years. Annual production is approximately 500 cases with most wine sold directly to consumers via a mailing list, however you can buy it here.

The winery was founded in 1989 with its first release of approximately 200 cases of the 1992 vintage. Owner Jean Phillips, who purchased the 60-acre property in 1986, along with wine maker Heidi Peterson Barrett have created a cabernet sauvignon that is sought after by collectors and wine lovers alike, these hard to find wines are often available only in limited quantities.

In March of 2006 the winery was sold to Charles Banks, a money manager for NBA players and other athletes, and Stanley Kroenke, owner of the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche hockey team.  The new owners have announced that they have hired famed vineyard manager David Abreu to replant some of the vineyard. It appears that they are also hiring a new winemaker - Andy Erickson.  Andy has worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Staglin Family and is currently making wine for Hartwell and Arietta.  He also has his own wine label Favia.  Heidi Peterson Barrett will stay on to complete the vintages she has started through 2005.

In 2001 at the Napa Valley Wine Auction a collector paid $650,000.00 (US) for eight extremely rare 3.0L bottles of Screaming Eagle Wine spanning from 1992 to 1999.

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