2006 harlan estate, napa valley
Why We're Buying
Harlan Estate is a myth figure in Napa Valley. The first vintage was released in 1983 and the critical praise continues to this day. Its eponymous Bordeaux-styled red blend routinely retails north of $1,000 per bottle, with wine critic Robert Parker giving it a jaw-dropping eight perfect ratings. After trying the 2016 vintage, wine critic Wilfred Wong said, "There is only one Harlan. This wine, from one of the most magnificent wine properties in the world, once again stands on its own plateau."
Here's a big, flashy, cult-style wine if ever there was one. It offers masses of blackberries, black currants, coffee, spices and new oak. Vastly rich, it defines the Harlan Estate style, although, in this vintage, perhaps not quite at its highest expression. Nonetheless the wine is fat and unctuous and immediately drinkable, thanks to refined tannins. Yet it should age effortlessly through 2018
The 2006 Harlan Estate has turned out better than I originally predicted. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by classic aromas of creme de cassis, melted licorice, smoked meats, burning embers, and graphite. It has thrown off some of the tannic clout it displayed last year, revealing great balance. A candidate for “wine of the vintage,” this dense, full-bodied effort has 25+ years of life ahead of it. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035.
Tight and complex, with a dry, earthy mineral edge to the red currant and black cherry fruit, but this slowly unwinds, revealing greater depth and concentration and ending with a long, persistent finish. Quite tannic, but the flavors push through on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2020.