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! 96+ (RP)
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.
Good medium ruby color. Roasted black fruits and a suggestion of almost port-like ripeness on the nose. Lush, superripe and powerful, with superb density of flavor. With notes ranging from black olive to dark chocolate, this shows a wider range of ripeness than either the highly promising young 2004 or the remarkably lush and sweet 2002 (which I scored 95 on this latest occasion). 93+ (ST)
A ripe, opulent 2003, with layers of rich plum, blackberry and wild berry fruit that manages to straddle the line and avoid being overripe. Rich and fleshy, with firm yet supple tannins...
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