This past week I had the pleasure of attending a wine lunch that was hosted by Bettina Sichel of Laurel Glen. The event was held on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at the Mansion in Dallas.
Laurel Glen Vineyard, the 16-acre plot in the Sonoma Mountain Appelation that is known for its beautifully acidic Cabernets, was recently purchased by Bettina Sichel. David Ramey (Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus and Rudd) was brought in to be the winemaking consultant and has been working with winemaker David DeSanteshe through the transition. Although it is a new team, we were pleased to hear that their focus would be on small tweaks towards perfection rather than large changes that would affect the Laurel Glen tradition.
Bettina was on hand to speak to us about their new releases along with a lineup of past vintages from 1989-present.
We first tasted through a range of estate cabernet from 2002-2007. The real standout here was the 2004 with its firm structure, balanced acidity and dense dark cherry flavors.
With our lunch we were treated to the 1989, 1991, 1996, and 1998 vintages. All were showing beautifully and have aged gracefully, but he real standouts were the 1991 and 1996. Both of these wines were soft structurally, yet very bright for their age. The 1991 was very alive and showing balanced fruit and acidity - even after 20 years in the bottle. The 1996 was extremely delicate and balanced in its structure. Very elegent.
Bettina and the Republic Group let us know that there is a small amount of these older vintages available - I would grab a few bottles before they are all gone!
What a treat - I can't wait to see what Laurel Glen will be doing with their new releases, but I am having a hard time trying to get their older vintages out of my mind!
More info on Laurel Glen: http://laurelglenvineyard.com/