"Rainy and unseasonably cold, the 2011 vintage wasn’t a year for beginners, but for
better or worse it was Bettina Sichel’s first vintage at Laurel Glen, after she purchased
the property from Patrick Campbell. In March of that year she brought in Phil Coturri
to manage the vineyard, which he began cultivating organically while dialing back the
irrigation. The vineyard, perched on a saddle of volcanic soil above the fog line yet
sheltered from the coastal wind, did manage to fully ripen, just later than normal. The
final grapes were harvested on November 1. Sonoma Mountain is one of California’s
cooler areas for cabernet, so you might be surprised at how expansive this wine feels.
Made by Randall Watkins, with input from David Ramey, this is tight with mineral
tannins and flashes of minty black-currant tang. With a day of air, the tannins turn more
supple and the floodgates open into a clean line of cassis flavor that’s driven by fresh
acidity, energizing a wine with the lilting complexity of a string quartet, scents of violet
and Christmas spices and bay-infused meat stock intertwining in a finish that goes on
for minutes. Give this ten years in the cellar; it’s a classical mountain cabernet with a
profound structural integrity, build to last." –Feb 2015
Only the best lots from each harvest become this flagship estate wine. The vineyard's east-facing exposure high above the fog line along with its thin, rocky soils are ideal for structured, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon.
All farming is done organically (CCOF certified), and all vineyard work is done by hand. They use small open-topped stainless steel tanks, a mixture of manual punchdowns and pumpovers of the cap, separation of free-run from press wine and aging in French barrels (55% new).