Overview of the Wine
Harlan Estate, owned by Bill Harlan, is located in the western hills of Oakville. Harlan is known for its commitment to creating a wine that is a California First Growth on par with those of the old world. The entire estate consists of 240 acres, including a homestead and plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Consulting oenologist Michel Rolland and winemaker Bob Levy lead the production of Harlan's wines, producing two Bordeaux-style blends: Harlan Estate's namesake proprietary red and The Maiden. These wines have been received to great acclaim by reviewers and collectors alike commanding high prices and a competitive waiting list. Both wines are complex full-bodied and have the ability to age for decades. With an opulent style rich with dense fruit and elements of black currant spice and minerals Harlan is both graceful and elegant ranking it among the top tier of California Cabernet producers.
For over two decades, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "first growth" wine estate. Founded in 1984, Harlan Estate is set in the western hills of Oakville, rising above the fabled Napa Valley benchlands.
Carved from the raw land and built for generations, the estate is over 240 acres of natural spendor, 15% of which are under vine, planted to the classic varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Grape / Blend
Bordeaux Red Blend
Napa Valley, California
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Harlan Estate produces a unique expression of California Cabernet Sauvignon. With a powerful perfume, the wines are rich, deep, concentrated and intense. Yet there is a sense of elegance and purity of fruit that meshes perfectly with all the power. When it’s young, in very ripe vintages, the wine can seem over the top, but with time, those sensations mature allowing the wine to deliver one of the best tasting experiences found in modern California Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
100 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Bottled in early 2018, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is a little closed, slowly unfurling to reveal black cherries, crème de cassis and plum pudding with nuances of potpourri, baking spices and tilled soil plus wafts of garrigue and wild sage. The palate is full-bodied and concentrated with exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and fantastic poise and depth with a long, decadently fruited finish.
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Harlan Estate is a beast of a wine that shows the sexy, opulent style of the vintage married to the classic structure and depth of this estate. A downright smorgasbord of blackcurrants, blackberries, crushed rocks, graphite, smoky camphor, cured meats, and dried tobacco aromas all emerge from the glass, and it shows the deep, concentrated style of the vintage yet still has awesome complexity and nuances. Deep, powerful, and structured, yet opulent and incredibly sexy on the palate, it reminds me of the 2002. A brilliant wine from this estate, it's already approachable given its wealth of fruit yet has the tannic backbone and density to keep for 3-4 decades or more.
99 Points - James Suckling
Incredible aromas of fresh flowers, such as roses and violets, and blackcurrants. Full body and defined levels of fruit and tannins too. Love the brightness and texture. An excellent finish. Production was down by a third because of bad berry set. Try in 2021.
97 Points - Wine Spectator
A huge red, with powerfully rendered dark fig, macerated black currant and steeped boysenberry fruit framed by a bittersweet chocolate note. With time in the glass, the fruit unwinds slowly, allowing anise and loam accents to fill in on the fleshy finish. There’s some serious heft here through the back end too, with a long echo of smoldering tobacco and a great tug of dark earth.
96 Points - Decanter
Like most Harlan vintages, this is about 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with small additions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The nose displays a wonderfully refined blend of sumptuous blackcurrant fruit with stylish oak. Although rich and very concentrated, it's restrained and polished, showing excellent balance and length with no overbearing character and a discreet but present tannic structure.
Product size: 750ml