The vineyard closest to the great Harlan Estate is Vecina, situated in the western foothills on the Oakville Crossroad overlooking the valley. From this 11-acre site, the 2003 Vecina comes closest in style to Harlan Estate, appearing like a hypothetical blend of a St. Estephe and Pauillac. A formidable wine, it reveals plenty of new saddle leather, creme de cassis, scorched earth and volcanic-like characteristics in addition to notes of blackberries, Chinese black tea and graphite. Powerful, intense and backward, it needs 2-5 years of bottle age and should last for two decades thereafter. It is a tour de force in winemaking! (RP) 96+
From a vineyard just adjacent to the Oakville estate comes this wonderfully earth-scented wine. Deep and brooding, the aromas bring to mind a walk through a forest. Now a whiff of bay laurel, then pine cone and a rich, mulchy humus, and hovering over all are ripe blackberries and oodles of caramelized new oak. Much more open at this point in its life than the ’02, but should live for many years.
Medium ruby. Cooler aromas of blueberry, blackberry and licorice. In a gentler style than the 2004, with the concentrated, slightly warm middle palate conveying greater sweetness along with a slight warmth and a saline quality. Doesn't possess the fruit depth of the '04 but this is in a gentler, sweeter style and showing more texture today. Finishes long, with rather suave tannins. In the early years, I wondered about this wine's range of ripeness (it was another year featuring a heat spike in September), but today I don't find any evidence of rushed ripening. (ST)
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