Red wine

Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Red Wine 1996

UK Stockist
Secondary market
Tasted by
Adam Lechmere
Tasted in
Harlan Estate

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

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 available on, winemaker Cory Empting, associate director François Vignaud

Adam Lcchmere – There’s a fine linen aroma here on the nose, it’s fresh and bright on the palate with good tannic heft and lovely power to the acidity. As the palate progresses it remains dense and bright, the tannins dry and washed with juice. This is a venerable, aged wine, absolutely ready, some lovely fruit still evident but gradually receding.

Bob Levy – ripe plums, notes of cedar & forest floor; faint earthy/mineral; strawberry confiture, medium density middle, good acidity, slightly dry at finish

Cory Empting – singing acidity, amazing texture & balance; slight austerity to the tannins; aromas are slightly oxidative

Don Weaver – faint notes of maturity on top; lots of material, tawny/meaty/metallic in the mouth intense, still fruit laden, powerful

François Vignaud – freshness, vibrance, black tea, green wood, blackberry bud, floral; focused mouthfeel, fresh & energetic attack with a medium mid-palate; finish brought with acidity & dry tannins

Bill Harlan – solid, classic nose; good balance & mouthfeel, excellent

Jamie Ritchie – A rich bouquet of tea, tar and roses. Herbal, spicy and mineral with great freshness. As with most Harlan, you get the sweetness of fruit with the savory elements that brings depth and complexity, as well as balance. Lovely purity, definition and freshness with verity long length. Finishes with spicy cherries, mint, leather and forest floor. Very good and drinking well now.

Jim Walker – a bit more tannic than the 1997, but similar flavor profile; some fruit, Bordeaux-esque

Kelli White – beautiful nose with youthful fruit tones of red cherries, red currants, dried herbs, blood & leather; some herbal accents; good generosity of fruit to balance the bones; once powerful, now settled into a stately age; lovely

Will Harlan – wonderful, cool nose, blue/dark fruit on the bouquet; quintessentially Harlan maintains some higher tones but not overly volatile; palate is cool, fresh, slender, detailed; maybe still too young?

Drinking Window
2020 - 2027
Wine Style
Napa Valley AVA
Bottle size
Grape Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc
Petit Verdot