2024 - 2054
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.
“I loved it!” winemaker Nick Gislason told me when I asked him for his thoughts on the 2018 vintage. “Everything is just really perfumey with a lot of verve and a lot of freshness. It’s a wholesome vintage, if that makes sense? The canopies were big and healthy; there was a lot of life in the vineyard. After 2017, it felt like the bloom that comes afterward.” He went on to say, "We made a little 2017 red. Only four barrels of the Cab! Ten barrels of The Flight. Only from grapes that came in before the fires—mainly Merlot and a couple of blocks of Cabernet." Whereas Screaming Eagle is mainly sourced from Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the western side of the estate, there is one plot of old Merlot (1980s plantings) on the eastern side of the vineyard that continually makes the backbone of this Second Flight/The Flight. This is planted on very gravelly, well-drained soils. Gislason explained, “The Cabernet Sauvignon for The Flight is always about being fresh, light and perfumey, without the firmer tannins that Cabernet can sometimes give. There is a ‘fresh’ end of the property that this tends to come from. There is some other Merlot on the other side of the property that doesn’t have the acidity, perfume or brightness we’re looking for. We don’t use this in The Flight.”