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+
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.
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)
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