Another rating identical to that which was given in 2007 (when first tasted from bottle), the 2004 Harlan Estate is performing essentially the way I suggested in 2007 as it is one of the more precocious and accessible of the Harlan Estate wines to date. A great showing at this retrospective, this wine, which seems like a hypothetical blend of a Pauillac, St.-Estephe and Graves, represents around 1,500 cases from 40 acres of beautifully manicured hillside vineyards overlooking Oakville. Still dense purple to the rim, with notes of creme de cassis, charcoal, blackberry and sweet toast, the wine is full-bodied and voluptuously textured with the tannins largely resolved. But the density and richness suggest this wine can go a long, long way, even though the window for drinking it seems open and inviting already. A world-class, first-growth wine if there ever was one from Napa, this is simply an exquisite Harlan Estate that has atypically reached mid to late adolescence at the age of ten. That is great given the fact that these are 30- to 40-year wines – possibly even half-century wines. Drink it over the next 30 years. (RP)
This is very great Harlan. It pours dark and saturated, and the tannins are big and sturdy, not aggressive, but sweet and finely ground. Still, they give a hardness to the immaculately ripe fruit that mandates cellaring. The flavors of currants, blackberries, plums, chocolate and cedar are lush, deep and long-lasting, but just a part of the balanced appeal of this young wine. It really defines the exquisite tension between power and elegance. Best after 2008, then for many years. *Best of 2007, Cellar Selection*
Starts out closed, but very intense and concentrated, with tight currant, spice, cedar, anise and blackberry flavors. Maintains a long, vibrant finish. Drink now through 2030. (JL, Web Only-2010)
Deep medium ruby. Superripe aromas and flavors of roasted black raspberry, licorice, mocha and minerals; just this side of liqueur-like. Thick, dense and silky but tightly wound and still youthfully closed. This compellingly deep wine boasts outstanding sweetness without coming off as over the top. Finishes with huge but sweet tannins and great length. (ST)
Deep red with ruby tones. Deep, sexy nose conveys a liqueur-like ripeness to the aromas of blackcurrant, dark chocolate, tobacco and warm stones. Plush and incredibly fine-grained, showing compelling thickness and density to the slightly high-toned flavors of black raspberry liqueur and minerals. This very ripe, large-scaled wine saturates the entire palate, finishing with big, broad, lush, chocolatey tannins and outstanding persistence. This impressive, very powerful wine is great right now but has the stuffing to go on for years. (ST)
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