Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Red Wine 1999

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 – Lovely complex savoury nose with hay and sage. Dark, rather brooding, powerful tannins kicking in early, soft mid palate with dark fresh fruit and fine acidity and tannins, really fine length, tannins bright and alive and well integrated

Bob Levy – black olive, tobacco leaf, faint black pepper; nice concentration/balance/fruitiness; softer entry, slightly longer middle with full ending; ripe tannins, slightly chewy with decent length, very broad & dense, not dry, less tactile sense of presence

Cory Empting – spearmint; hedonistic sweet layers that expand across the palate

Don Weaver – vanilla, embers, menthol, espresso, hay; great balance, lacking the usual detail & intensity of classic Harlan Estate; a sleeper vintage, always drinks easy

François Vignaud – ripeness with age? herbal tones, touch of vegetal, black tea leaf, dark cherry; ripe but focused palate, good acidity that bring the mouth in focus after slightly sweet fruit attack

Bill Harlan – pleasant. good body & volume, finish not long

Jamie Ritchie – Inky, intense and harmonious. Seamless black currant, black cherry spicy nose with coffee, tea and tar. Savoury and sweet, with lovely balance and freshness. Cut grass, herbal and mineral element. Well balanced and well-integrated with great length. Finishes with black cherry, roses, tea and tar. Very good, drink now.

Jim Walker –  quiet red fruit; different quality to the tannins here

Kelli White –  piquant & bold, this nose offers scents of iron, pink peppercorn, strawberry, leather, rabbit fur & library books; a serious, layered, brooding & complex wine with stacked, grippy tannins; changing rapidly with air, a wine to decant; a long life yet to live

Will Harlan – aromatics a bit evolved, similar to 2002, not bad; palate similar to 2000 but juicier, ripe but not fat; more streamlined but still slightly rustic, maybe even some phenolic unripeness, green

Wine Details



Wine Style


Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot



Bottle size


Drink dates

2020 - 2040







Napa Valley AVA

Tasting Information



Tasted by

Adam Lechmere

UK Stockist

Secondary market

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