The opaque purple-colored 1996 Harlan Estate reveals extraordinary intensity, a spicy, black currant, tobacco, cedar, and fruit cake-scented bouquet, full body, a texture oozing with glycerin and concentrated fruit, and moderate tannin in the blockbuster finish. It is one of the most concentrated and complete red wines one could hope to taste. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030. (RP)
Very tight and compact, dense and focused, with vibrant blackberry, graphite and black cherry fruit that's intense, concentrated and persistent. (JL, Web Only-2010)
It is fascinating to taste the 1996 Harlan Estate after the 1999. Tightly wound and almost Old World in spirit, the 1996 is compelling from the first taste. Although the 1996 doesn’t have the natural Napa Valley opulence that runs through so many other wines in this tasting, it’s balance is simply impeccable. Scents of tobacco, leather, cedar and spice add aromatic intensity. For a 21 year-old wine, the 1996 is still quite powerful. As good as the 1996 is, there is a perceptible aggressiveness in the tannins that are hardly, if ever, seen in today’s wines. (AG)
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