Thick staining dark garnet, bricking considerably but surprisingly rich ruby core. Moderate sediment. People regularly query why I put so much importance on the appearance of the wine. It all tells a story! It gives important insight into what’s going on in the wine on THAT day in its life. Tiny bottle-funk blows off fast, revealing a heady concoction of rich, black fruit, black walnut and cassis headed ultra-ripe citrus and mineral over a backbone of slightly-hot eucalyptus.
One of the preeminent Sonoma County Cabernet producers, Laurel Glen Vineyard is up in the clouds on the tiny Sonoma Mountain AVA and Certified Organic. And we all know MOUNTAIN FRUIT IS BEST!!! I’ve enjoyed these wines for decades. A constant go-to, I don’t think I have ever had one which disappointed. Like a lot of Sonoma Cabernet, there is a softness–an elegance–which allows almost-full enjoyment upon release but with the structure to age 20 years with positive effect. And–again: like almost ALL Sonoma Cab–these are not stupid-expensive!
In the mouth, a chewy dense mouthfeel brings you back to the appearance of the wine. Grainy and thick, packed with nectarized berry fruit, supple polish visible all around, bringing the wet-leather, rubbed wood and fading-petrichor game strong as the softening tannins buoy all the lovely tertiary. Still well-fruited, maybe a touch flabby but NOTHING I would complain about.
I’m not a huge vintage-wonk when it comes to California wines, but I recall 2002 being NOT super-high-rated for Sonoma. I’d say this is drinking at just about zenith, and if you’re the second or third cellar, I wouldn’t stretch it much further. With perfect provenance, this thing could glow brightly for another decade.
2002 LAUREL GLEN Cabernet Sauvignon Laurel Glen Vineyard Sonoma Mt. Sonoma Co. 14.5