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 – Deep damson dark fruit nose – charming palate, fresh and long and juicy with lovely hints of herb and sage in the mid-palate – river mud and soft dark fruit – the tannins are very insistent and the juice fresh, but not enough of it at the end.
Bob Levy – hints of brett with forest floor; straw, cedar & leafy notes, savory dried sage, sweet vanilla, good density, round & full; good tension with moderate tannin, slightly short finish
Cory Empting – smells like great Bordeaux; the wine is clean lined yet deep; once again, an austerity from the old world that is reverential; tannins are still youthful and need time; it’s not only a fine machine but surprise with another distinction (?) still an edge of sweetness to the tannins
Don Weaver – whiff of brett, faint barnyard character (not offensive), slightly exotic, Bordeaux imposter. Hello old friend
François Vignaud – just enough dirt, greenness, tomato leaf, herbal, fresh; touch of (can’t decipher) on the attack but fresh through; still structured, vibrant, juicy wine with tertiary aromas; frame of tannins on finish helping balance, an energetic acidity
Bill Harlan – reserved nose, lean yet balanced
Jamie Ritchie – Forest floor, prunes and plums. Very scented and with great allure. Leather, spice, tea and roses. Mature, yet fresh and well balanced. Delivers depth, complexity and finesse on the finish, with great length and intensity. Savory and sweet. Mature and very satisfying – ready to enjoy now.
Jim Walker – very much as I remember: an elegant, Bordeaux style; with soft tannins and more earth than fruit
Kelli White – vibrant, rambling nose with rich, warm scents of leather (some Brett?), orange blossom, rust, blood, peppercorn & black cherries; seductive aromatics, really tugging tannins, great flesh, very charming; at a lovely place
Will Harlan – nose is decidedly Old World, some barnyard/brett aspects; still closed & tight; texture is nice, if not completely ripe phenolics; austere but pleasant; restrained, slightly dry/woody finish
- Drinking Window
- 2020 - 2025
- Wine Style
- Napa Valley AVA
- Bottle size
- Grape Varieties