93
Laurel Glen 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain Estate
Built entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon from 50-year-old vines, this wine stopped me in my tracks. It is the epitome of North Coast California elegance.

Moreover, it certainly tastes of Cabernet Sauvignon, that is to say blackcurrants and blackberries. There’s also a whisper of cedar on the back palate. This gorgeous 2013 (a terrific vintage) is lithe in structure. This restraint is rare in a heralded vintage, where most producers seek extract and extravagance. Here, it seems, the quest is for elegance. The 14.3% alcohol is gorgeously balanced with smartly-placed acidity and seamless but structuring tannins. This is a beauty. You could drink it today, but why not wait 15 years?
Drink: 2017-33

92
Laurel Glen 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain Estate
The ressemblance of these Cabernet siblings is striking. Tasting the 2008 seems to be like tasting the 2013 another five years from now. It’s truly uncanny, especially because 2008 was not the godsend vintage that 2013 was.

Nonetheless, this 2008 Laurel Glen has a noble character to it, especially now that it has had time to settle into its bottle. Impressively, it has aged beautifully and yet little at the same time. Its color is still deep ruby with black inflections, and its nose only hints at tertiary aromas of fallen autumn leaves and compost. The fruit tastes of pure berry compote. There’s hardly a hint of oak barrel influence. There may be a touch of cedar, or is that laurel? Underneath those lifted scents are blackberries and cassis. Everything about the palate is smooth, creamy, caressing and downright cuddly. Thanks to the solid acidity, this isn’t a wine to rush to sip.
Drink: 2017-28