Sonoma Mountain, California
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Laurel Glen Vineyard, a thousand feet up on east facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain, has long been considered one of the iconic Cabernet vineyards of California. Originally planted in the 1880’s; the present day vineyard was developed in the 1970’s by Sonoma wine pioneer Patrick Campbell. The vineyard’s combination of high altitude, eastern exposure, rocky soils, and small diurnal temperature swings combine to produce very distinctive wines. Laurel Glen is a recognized clonal variety available through UC Davis’ horticultural department.
Organic farming practices were 1st introduced in 2011 and Laurel Glen Vineyard received CCOF organic certification in 2014. Even more consequential were the changes made in trellising and pruning practices. Since 2011, Laurel Glen Vineyard has been cane pruned using a Double Guyot trellising method favored in Bordeaux. Also since 2011 the irrigation has been greatly reduced and with few exceptions Laurel Glen Vineyard has been dry farmed. The many refinements made in the vineyard have resulted in better concentration and consistency of the fruit.
Vintage Comments: Late spring rain and cold weather in 2015 caused poor fruit set and led to the formation of a tiny crop. The beautiful mild summer weather that followed allowed for the small number and size of berries to develop excellent flavors. However, when picking ended on September 29th, we counted 17 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from our 14 acre estate vineyard, vs. 39 tons the year before. The only saving grace was the exceptional quality of the fruit we harvested.
Winemaker Randall Watkins and consulting enologist David Ramey took over winemaking in 2011 and introduced careful cluster and berry sorting techniques to increase the opulence and polish of the wine. The fruit undergoes maceration for two to four days untilnatural fermentation begins in small open-topped stainless steel fermenters. Using a combination of pumpovers and punchdowns to target the elegant skin tannin and reduce seed extraction. Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% free run – no press wine was used in the blend. The wine is aged about 23 months in all Tonnellerie Taransaud French oak barrels (55% new, the remainder was aged in once used barrels).
94 points – Jeb Dunuck
94 points – Wine Enthusiast
90 points – Wine Spectator