Tasting Note: Laurel Glen Vineyard 1996 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


1. Introduction:
After changing hands in 2011, Laurel Glen Vineyard is striving for highest quality and top Cabernet Sauvignon from its iconic vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain Appellation in Northern California again.
Next to their Estate Cabernet and their 2nd wine “Counterpoint”, Laurel Glen recently added a third wine to their product range: A field blend Rosé from old vines, which is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and another 50% of a “mix of obscure red varietals”, most of which the winery can’t identify with any certainty!
But today we taste their flagship wine again. This time from 1996.
Perfect and flawless bottle and cork.

2. Appearance:
Deep dark velvet. Still very dense and vital!

3. Nose:
Inviting aromas of dark Berries. Intense and warm Cherries (mostly during the first hour).
Eucalypt and Vegetables come with herbal Spicyness of Thyme and Laurel, of course 🙂
Hints of Salt remind us of a fresh sea breeze.
Present Oak and beautiful Floral Characteristics and little Sweetness.
Multi-layered, intense and stimulating!

4. Taste:
Dark, ripe Cassis and Cherry paired with decent secondary characteristics- mostly Leather.
Freshly cut Herbs, as Basil, some Dark Chocolate.
Round tannins and vital acidity present the wine fresh and perfectly structured.
Very pleasant mouthfeel and softness.
Finishes long, warm, soft and sweet with beautiful fruit and little pepperiness.
Ideal balance and great complexity!

5. Opinion:
A fantastic wine! Still healthy structured with dense color, solid tannins and acidity, this wine shows hardly any faintness and is, thereby, good for another 5- 10 years in the bottle.
Beautiful fruit and nicely integrated alcohol give the wine a soft and round appearance with nice sweetness, but bright liveliness with tannins and acidity.
Good for you when you have more than one bottle of this wine in your cellar.
I´d suggest drinking one right now and to keep at least another bottle for the future!

Tasting Notes: Laurel Glen Vineyard 1989 & 2009 Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

laurel glen vineyard
(picture by laurelglen.com)

1. Introduction:
Located in the Sonoma Mountain Appellation Laurel Glen´s vineyard has long been among the most iconic vineyard sites for Cabernet Sauvignon in California.
But, as founder and former winemaker Patrick Campbell shifted his focus on other wine projects, the quality level of Laurel Glen Vineyard dropped.
Now under new ownership and with a fresh winemaking team around consultant David Ramey and winemaker Randall Watkins Laurel Glen is back on track.
Today we sample the 1989 and the 2009 vintage of their flagship wine, the estate grown 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain.
Both bottles were stored perfectly as they were purchased directly from the winery. Perfect cork, no flaws.

2. Appearance:
1989: Dark red. A little dim, with transparent, light orange edges. Obviously aged.
2009: Deep purple. Fresh and vibrant. Beautiful!

3. Nose:
1989: Vegetables, as Dried Tomatoes; some Sour Cherries.
Traces of Tobacco and Leather. Sweet Vanilla and Forest characters.
2009: Concentrated Cassis Jam, with hints of Mint, Lavender and Apples.

4. Taste:
1989: Still some Fruit, as Cherry and Cassis; with secondary characters of Tobacco
and Leather. Some Clove in a medium long finish with traces of acidity (!).
Pleasant and complex play of different nuances! Nicely balanced and discreet.
Maybe a little thin.
2009: Intense Fruit with Cassis and Blackberries. Traces of Vanilla. Present tannins
and oak. Very alive with a long finish!
Even though, the wine is very rich, it is smooth and perfectly balanced. Great!

5. Opinion:
The 1989 vintage was a difficult one, but the 1989 Sonoma Mountain Cabernet has evolved nicely. Even though, it is also obvious that it has passed its best days and, thereby, should be consumed within the next years.
Still a very round and nice wine!
With the 2009 vintage as the metaphorical transition release – because it was harvested and put into barrel by the old team around Patrick Campbell and blended by Randall Watkins and David Ramey – Laurel Glen is absolutely back to rebuild its success story! The wine drinks beautiful right now and shows excellent future potential. Cheers!