Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Red Wine 1994

RRP £1,243

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 – The nose is sweet and perfumed – classic Napa garrigue with hints of elegant rot. On the palate the first impression is of juice, a wonderfully irrigated mouthful with notes of dark fruit, a saline tang which sets off the juice; really venerable old wine, sweet and tannic, very pure, the tannins still robust and present but without an edge of any sort; they melt into the wine

Bob Levy – complex array of still bright red fruits, ripe–not overripe, secondary aromas of vanilla/toast-caramel & cedar; sweetness with a hint of brett, celery; good concentration, energy & freshness

Cory Empting – forms straight lines; great tension forms balance; almost backwards, needing time to expand; the fruit is ripe, the texture of the tannins is athletic

Don Weaver – a bit old worldly, harmonious, delineated; still has plenty to go, in a very good place; always satisfies

François Vignaud – similarity to 1995, maybe with a touch more sweetness & structure; anything to say? it shows balance, complexity, raciness

Bill Harlan – wonderful nose, excellent balance, body, structure. Classic.

Jamie Ritchie – A very “complete” wine. Spicy, port-like nose which is very seamless. This has an alluring intensity with different layers of flavor. Cherries, spice, forest floor. Multi-layered and complex. It has a richness and thickness of texture that combines with the fresheners to bring great allure. Stylish, classy, refined with great length and depth. Excellent and ready to enjoy now.

Jim Walker –  pencil shavings, earth, some cocoa, no oak notes; has a Bordeaux quality, more complex, with fruit in the background; tannins are very soft & silky

Kelli White –  some volatility; pretty nose of cassis, library book, leather, dried flowers, hot dust; more gentle and charming on the palate than the 1995, with better integration of tannins and brighter acidity

Will Harlan – wonderfully cool, dark nose; high-toned but not volatile; so harmonious, blending old & new worlds; still seems young; has a mineral/saline element

Wine Details



Wine Style


Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot



Bottle size


Drink dates

2020 - 2027







Napa Valley AVA

Tasting Information



Tasted by

Adam Lechmere

UK Stockist

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