1996 Laurel Glen Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301089 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Sappy, superripe aromas of black cherry, cassis, licorice and mint; shows an almost medicinal austerity. Thick and ripe but quite closed, even musclebound, today, and dominated by its rather tough spine. A more classic Laurel Glen vintage, with a very firm Bordeaux-like structure. Finishes with tougher tannins and late notes of bitter cherry and espresso. Likely to be long-lived. (ST) 92+  (6/1999)

John Gilman

 The 1996 Laurel Glen is a good, respectable bottle of the more fruit-driven style at the winery, and the wine is impressively long on the backend. The ripe nose offers up a blend of red and black cherries, Cuban tobacco, coffee, herbs and a touch of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and chewy, with a good core, quite modest complexity, but very good length and grip on the ripely tannic finish. This is not bad in its more fruit-driven style. (Drink between 2016-2040)  (1/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 Black garnet core with pink edges. Not quite star bright. More brooding aromatics of spiced dark fruits – a focus more on fruits than in the older vintages. The palate carries the aromatics forward with those same dense, dark, spiced fruits accented by wet tobacco and a bit of cooked mushroom. Light gunmetal elements throughout. More chewy tannin here and firm, dense palate. There is a nice wash of acidity across the full length of the palate but it does move a bit separately from the tannin, which holds the fruit in the mid palate rather than moving it through the full length of the palate. Enjoying this wine alongside a meal would help elongate the finish and reveal more of the nuance of the wine. 17/20 points. (ECB)  (5/2019)

Wine Spectator

 Tight and intense, with a firm, concentrated band of currant, anise, cedar, tar and spice notes. Needs time to soften and evolve. (JL)  (10/1999)

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Price: $59.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.