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 – Inky dark shot through with red velvet; Nose with hints of bitumen, chaparral or Napa garrigue, sweet dark fruit developing a sloe-like concentration. So young in profile, the tannins kicking in, staying, lovely concentration and heft, impression of dryness, an austerity about this. l love the bed of tannins that underpins the whole structure, the juice coming through, allowing a certain fatness.
Bob Levy – black fruits with hints of green & black olive, dried herbs,wonderful savory juxtaposition to ripe black fruits, plums & cassis, earthy undertones, black pepper, slightly cheesy quality; energetic entry, broad & complex, powerful, tannins slightly fuzzy but not dry
Cory Empting – still brooding aromatically; sharp detail that is backed up by an almost infinite depth; clearly an introvert, but one who is on the verge; (coiled) the tannins are imposing but extremely noble
Don Weaver – forest notes on top, very attractive; impression of freshness, red and black fruits, some road tar; plenty of fine-grained tannin, broad, slightly dry; this wine is a bit of a sphinx for me
François Vignaud – soft, secondary aromas, fresh herbs, earthy, a touch of spice but mostly fresh, menthol; flowing from start to finish, showing restraint, discreet, structured; shy today, with incredible potential
Bill Harlan – pleasant, bit neutral, little dry, not as I remembered
Jamie Ritchie – Supple, velvety, textured, integrated. Has an intensity and depth, that combines all the ingredients. Black currants, black cherries, herbs and spices. Licorice, coffee, chocolate. Intense and sublime. The first vintage in the tasting that is really mature and ready to drink. Has depth, intensity, weight, dimension and expression. Combines all the flavours and elements in a harmonious way with everything in equilibrium. Dense, intense and multi layered with a fresh finish than keeps you wanting more. Great length. A joyous wine to drink from now but will continue to improve.
Jim Walker – good initial nose; tannins a bit rugged, fruit not so complex; seems to need more time although 10 years old
Kelli White – a balance nose that pits ripe dark fruits (cassis, black cherry) against woodsy, savory notes of underbrush, olive & tobacco; powerful balanced body; rich & long, a touch stoic; broody, savory, remarkable; a deeply mineral wine that is just exiting its primary phase. a long living wine
Will Harlan – nose reminds me of church (cool stone, muted wood) similar to library with leather & old paper; wonderful mouthfeel, harmonious, fruit fits & follows the structure very naturally; has a certain cool savory quality, maybe even mineral/saline
- Drinking Window
- 2025 - 2050
- Wine Style
- Napa Valley AVA
- Bottle size
- Grape Varieties