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 – Dark, almost purple core with lighter ruby rim. Shy nose giving a hint of wet stone and baked earth, then old hay barn. The palate concentrated, developing, there’s hay here, and herb, a mineral undertow, fresh with superb earthy black fruit, perfumed soft mouthcoating tannins and always juicy acidity,
Bob Levy – earthy notes, dried leaves, concentrated raspberry aromas, simple purity, focused in its dimensionality; leaner in profile, nice purity & focus; finishes with more fullness, tannins are noticeable but very fine-grained
Cory Empting – red fruits, energy & pulse; all of this enveloped by a richness; an amazing balance of transparency and density; the tannins are youthful with slight grip, there is a softness that envelopes
Don Weaver – subdued nose, pretty but slightly timid; slightly less energy and depth than others, it has a crystalline character; flavors of bakers’ chocolate, smoked meats; tannins slightly dry; overall less powerful but quite harmonious
François Vignaud – back to fresh fruit, blackberry, high tones almost herbal; energetic mouthfeel, a lively wine, a touch more weight than 2016 but a focused palate; tannins frame the mouth, especially on the finish; fresh, medium+ acidity from mid-palate to finish
Bill Harlan – nose excellent, little bright, evolving
Jamie Ritchie – Intense nose of black fruits and violets. More restrained and fine boned than other vintages. Intense blackcurrant and black cherry. Licorice, herbs and spice. Rich, fresh and vibrant on the palate with a lovely weight which gives richness and covers the palate. Black cherry, Indian spices, cedar, tobacco finish that is fresh, vibrant and long. Keep.
Jim Walker – a bit chocolatey, easy, more black fruits; not as fruit forward, medium length, soft tannins, more chocolate on the finish
Kelli White – more restraint & purity than the 2015, seems aromatically aligned with the 2016; a beautiful, lifted nose of fresh dark berries, sage & lavender; juicy & playful on the palate, with a refreshing, mouth-watering acidity; a slate-like mineral quality grounds the wine; tannins are cool & chalky; a charismatic, but possibly earlier maturing, vintage?
Will Harlan – nose is expressive, high toned, fairly floral; palate is quieter than expected for the vintage; continues to have this fluidity; wateriness (in a good way), transparent, almost quenching
- Drinking Window
- 2027 - 2050
- Wine Style
- Napa Valley AVA
- Bottle size
- Grape Varieties