Red wine

Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Red Wine 1991

The following tasting note shows the combined comments of the tasting panel organised for Club Oenologique at Harlan Estate on 11 March 2020. Present: Adam Lechmere, Bill Harlan, Will Harlan, estate directer Don Weaver, collector Jim Walker, Harlan educator Kelli White, director of winegrowing Bob Levy, Jamie Ritchie of Sotheby’s fine wine, Elaine Chukan Brown (notes can be found on jancisrobinson.com), winemaker Cory Empting, associate director François Vignaud

Bordeaux blend of average 75% Cabernet Sauvignon plus varying proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Adam Lechmere – This is fresh, but the tannins are almost fierce – where are they going to go? Fine raisiny fruit and still a sweet hint of raspberry leaf, and some good acidity, fine old tannins going dry, the whole mouthful slightly lacking in energy, heading into the final straight, going strong still

Bob Levy – bright notes of red fruits, surrounded by cedar & forest floor, faint torrefaction & hints of black peppercorn; good concentration, round, even angular finish, good acidity plays off tannic finish

Cory Empting – spearmint & bay; electric on the palate; slight angularity but no signs of aging; anchored into the earth; followed by spice perfume & fruit

Don Weaver – red fruits, iodine, dried blood; incredibly complex; tannins slightly dry, dare I say a bit like mature Chateau Latour

François Vignaud – dry, shy; acidity & tannins are here; earthy & dusty nose with some green characters; mouthfeel is focused but tannins intense; structured wine

Bill Harlan – tannins still not silky, good volume, “sweet”

Jamie Ritchie – Intense savory, spicy, sweet bouquet of leather, tea, tar and forest floor. Has weight dimension and intensity. The fruit is there and fading a touch, but has that savory sweetness, along with the length and complexity. Long savory finish. Like being with a very lovely old friend. For drinking now.

Jim Walker –  this is where the house style begins; earthy, herbal, not flowery; not a fruit bomb but an elegant, flavorful wine; no astringency, silky & flavorful

Kelli White –  scents of mint, game, oolong, dried cherries; highly aromatic, perfumed & seductive, more stoic, drying tannins; structure in still quite intense

Will Harlan – nose is evolved but not out-of-place, maybe slightly reduced; aroma is aristocratic, but not so pleasurable/enticing; very slight phenolic un-ripeness; palate fits the nose


Wine Details



Wine Style


Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot



Bottle size


Drink dates

2020 - 2025







Napa Valley AVA

Tasting Information



Tasted by

Adam Lechmere

UK Stockist

Secondary market