Harlan Estate 2016 (Case of 6)
Harlan Estate 2016 (Case of 6), which I awarded 100 points seven years ago, offers no justifiable reason to doubt its perfect score. It is still a baby, with an inky purple color and notes of smoky camphor intermixed with creme de cassis, Asian soy and a hint of cedar beginning to emerge as well as some espresso and subtle damp forest floor notes. The wine has awesome intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, a skyscraper-like texture, and a finish that goes on for close to a minute. This is a perfect wine, still youthful and young, and not even in full adolescence as of 2012. It has 40 or more years ahead of it, but should hit its plateau of full maturity in another 5-10 years. It is certainly one of the most showy, flamboyant and remarkable Harlan Estates made to date.
Harlan Estate is a California wine estate producing Bordeaux style blends. The estate is located in the western hills of Oakville, California within the Oakville AVA, in the Napa Valley AVA zone. Harlan Estate has been described as “the ultimate cult winery”, with its limited availability, prices and status akin to those of Screaming Eagle. In addition to the estate wine, there is produced a second wine named The Maiden.
Described by Jancis Robinson as “one of the ten best wines of the twentieth century”, and consistent acclaim from Wine Spectator, and Robert Parker, including four scores of 100 “parker points”, have further contributed to the wine’s high prices and long waiting lists. Released at $245 per bottle, the price soon rises on the speculative market, and the cost may range from $650 and up. A 10-vintage vertical selection of magnum bottles sold at the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction for $700,000. The Director of Wine Making, Bob Levy, has worked with Harlan since 1983 when Harlan took part in founding the Merryvale Winery, and since 1989 the estate has retained Michel Rolland as consultant enologist. Construction of the current winery was completed in 2002.
The estate extends 240 acres (97 ha), of which approximately 15% of the land, 40 acres (16 ha) is cultivated with the grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Beginning production in 1997, Harlan founded BOND, in collaboration with winemaker Bob Levy, with the intent to identify and produce wine from “grand crus” of Napa Valley. Erroneously described as second wines of Harlan Estate, the BOND winery is located on the western hills of Oakville.