|New French Oak
|98 RP - 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.