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Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • WE93
  • TP92
  • WE90
  • W&S95
  • TP95
  • WE93
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Winemaker Notes

2002 began with a bang and ended on the same note, producing dramatic wines of great structure and intensity.

The 2002 Counterpoint is decidedly in the modern style of cabernet: big, brash, fruity, rich, and delicious. For lovers of the 2001 vintage, 2002 vintage may seem a bit too much of a good thing, with its alcohol of 14.5% and its up-front flavors. But what saves this wine from turning into a modern monster is its firm underlying acidity and clearly delineated focus. Let's just say that it is very much in the Laurel Glen mold, just more so!

The 2002 Counterpoint is extremely limited for two reasons: the crop was unusually small and given the high quality of the vintage, more lots made their way into Laurel Glen.

The resulting wine is dark, rich, focused, warm, friendly, and at the same time, rather brooding and mysterious. The more I drink it the more I find new nuances, and that's what I like in a wine!

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
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Laurel Glen

Laurel Glen

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Laurel Glen, Sonoma County, California
2002 Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon
Laurel Glen Vineyard, a thousand feet up the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, has long been considered one of the iconic Cabernet vineyards of California. Originally planted in the 1880’s, the present-day vineyard was developed in the 1970’s by Sonoma wine pioneer Patrick Campbell. The 1st vintage of Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was made in 1981. The vineyard’s combination of high altitude, eastern exposure, rocky soils, and small diurnal temperature swings combine to produce very distinctive wines. Despite its small production, the wine has received international acclaim for its exceptional balance, elegance and ability to age gracefully.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

STCCL600F_2002 Item# 87456

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