Founded in 1984, Harlan Estate is a winegrowing estate in the western hills of Oakville, California – in the heart of the Napa Valley. Consisting of 240 acres of natural splendor set above the fabled Oakville benchlands, the property rises in elevation from 225 to 1225 feet above sea level. Forty acres (17 ha) under vine, planted to cabernet sauvignon (70%), merlot (20%), cabernet franc (8%), and petit verdot (2%). All hillside siting, on both volcanic and sedimentary bedrock; a combination of terraced vineyards and closely spaced vines on spare soils over fractured rock; vertical trellis with shoot positioning, 360º of exposition.
"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.
This extraordinary estate, run by Bill Harlan, has never had either a shortage of ambition or patience. Harlan originally had his wines made elsewhere, but never found the resulting product up to his standards until his home vineyard, high on the western hills of the Oakville Corridor, hit an acceptable level of quality, which turned out to be in 1990. In October, I did a vertical tasting of every Harlan Estate vintage made (which I will report on at a future date), and one thing that was clear is just how extraordinary these wines are, and how well they are aging. Even in California’s lighter, more challenging years, Harlan turned out wines that anyone would be happy to own and consume. The newest offerings include two vintages of The Maiden essentially their second wine, and the flagship Harlan Estate fewer than 2,000 cases produced." -Rated 96, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate