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 – What an absolutely lovely nose, shy and reserved but showing delicate red fruit, charming. The palate dense and tightly wound, a sense of coiled energy, reserved, slightly closed, the fruit on the palate is sweet, blueberry and ripe plum, the tannins with a powerful grip, old-fashioned beasts to be left alone for a good few years. The finish endless, the juice sappy. This is a superb example of finesse & power.
Bob Levy – hints of cocoa, coffee & spice; minerality edging towards earthiness, dried herbs; good concentration on entry & mid-palate; rich tannins, very full with good energy & length; slightly granular, edgy
Cory Empting – nose is fruitier and more open but the acidity is felt from this cool, long growing season; the forest is starting to make a play; bold but not overbearing
Don Weaver – moderately dense, concentrated, sweet/savory, soy, tamarind; very drinkable, slightly less complicated, somewhat tannic
François Vignaud – slight cola character; the beginning of evolved, secondary aromas, earthy tones, five spice; broader mid-palate, generous, great texture; tannins framing the mouth on the finish
Bill Harlan – neutral, same, doesn’t evolve much
Jamie Ritchie – Intense blackcurrants and black cherries. Flamboyant, open and sumptuous. Voluptuous. Encourages you to dive right in and drink it. Dense blackcurrants, black cherries and spice with coffee, cloves, tea. Has weight and volume in proportion and finishes with freshness and great length. A joyous wine, drink from now.
Jim Walker – strong black fruit that stays with me; nice finish, young tannins
Kelli White – exotic nose of tamarind, soy, pencil lead, black cherry and five spice; concentrated, powerful aromas; palate is full of lush fruit bound by ripe chewy tannins; good integration of structure into body; starting to sweeten with age, a hint of sour cherry in the finish
Will Harlan – more typical of high-powered prototype: high octane, high-toned nose; palate texture is wonderful, palate feels more akin to a warm year Bordeaux; more impressive than expected
- Drinking Window
- 2025 - 2050
- Wine Style
- Napa Valley AVA
- Bottle size
- Grape Varieties