One of the highlights of our recent Arctic Blast Relief wine tasting was the opening of a magnum from Laurel Glen Vineyard. The memory provided warmth in the next several days where wind chills plunged to minus 35 degrees.
The timing has to be right to open a magnum. You certainly need a good party situation because you don’t want to be drinking leftover wine for the next 10 days. Also, opening a large format bottle is celebratory – and so you want as many of your friends to enjoy as possible.
Laurel Glen Vineyard is 1,000 feet up the side of Sonoma Mountain. This is an ideal location to catch the morning sunlight, but avoid the burning afternoon heat. It was originally planted in the 1880’s. The first vintage of Laurel Glen Cabernet was produced in 1981.
Our magnum was signed by owner Bettina Sichel. The grapes used in the wine range from seven to 43-years-old. There were 1,500 cases produced and, I’m sure, not a large number of magnums.
We had a number of great appetizers during our tasting including meatballs and stuffed mushroom caps, but the Laurel Glen paired exquisitely with chocolates. The wine is rich and flavorful and our guests said they could drink it all night.
On the nose there is bramble and berries with a touch of spice. There are flavor notes of chocolate, espresso and plum. This is a complex wine with swirls of tobacco and blueberry as well. The wine has good structure without being harshly tannic.
Laurel Glen is a superlative Cabernet Sauvignon – and the large format easily doubled our enjoyment!