What can I say about the 1994? I have tasted the wine for three consecutive years, and each time it satisfied all of my requirements for perfection. The opaque purple color is followed by spectacular aromatics that soar from the glass, offering up celestial levels of black currants, minerals, smoked herbs, cedar wood, coffee, and pain grille. In the mouth, this seamless legend reveals full body, and exquisite layers of phenomenally pure and rich fruit, followed by a 40+ second finish. While accessible, the 1994 begs for another 5-7 years of cellaring. It should easily last for 30+ years. Every possible jagged edge - acidity, alcohol, tannin, and wood - is brilliantly intertwined in what seems like a diaphanous format. What is so extraordinary about this large-scaled wine, with its dazzling display of aromatics and prodigious flavors and depth, is that it offers no hint of heaviness or coarseness. Harlan's 1994 comes close to immortality in the glass. (RP)
This is a legend in modern winemaking for California. Yet it has been a controversial wine due to what some say is extremely high volatile acidity. I have found some bottles acidic but most have been fantastic quality. I had this bottle on Saturday with a friend in Hong Kong at a Korean restaurant. There's a purity of fruit and balance now to this. It's fruity yet reserved and harmonious. It's full body and fruity with a beautiful depth and complexity showing currant and mineral undertones. It's pure and gorgeous. Drink and rejoice.
The 1994 Harlan Estate, from magnum, is another stunner. Time has softened some of the wine’s exuberance, yet the purity of the flavors and textures remain utterly compelling. At nearly 20 years of age, the 1994 is simply magnificent. I don’t expect the 1994 will last forever, but it has reached an apex of expression that is compelling. The sweetness and silkiness contrast the richness of the beef tenderloin ‘au poivre’ perfectly. (AG)
Slightly more vibrant saturated ruby-red color. Even deeper and more nuanced aromas of liqueur-like blackcurrant, black olive, violet, minerals, brown spices and floral perfume. In contrast to the (relatively) more laid-back '95, this is almost painfully sweet on entry, with huge extract giving it a three-dimensional texture. More powerfully structured than the '95, but as large as it is, it retains near-perfect balance. Explosive finishing fruit covers the rich, sweet tannins. (ST)
Retains a youthful center of ripe plum, black cherry, wilted rose, black olive, sage and mineral flavors. Intense, balanced, focused and persistent, this is long on the finish. (JL, Web Only-2010)
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