Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What makes Screaming Eagle a "cult" wine and what makes it so special? Is it the process they use to make it, the quality and mix of grapes, or the limited quantity?
—Hugo P., Corona, Calif.
High demand makes a wine a "cult." Typically, that demand is generated by high quality (created by famous winemakers, authenticated by excellent reviews and high ratings), amplified by scarcity (many "cult" wines are produced in quantities of only a few hundred cases), and results in extremely high prices, usually manifested in auction-market trading. Screaming Eagle has all these factors in spades, but there are dozens of other wines, mostly Napa Cabernets, which have arguably joined it in the rarified air of cult wines.
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