Harlan Estate 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
For twenty five years, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "First Growth" wine estate.
The Wine Advocate - "Very deep garnet-black colour with a purple rim. Though still very youthful and muted, this vintage is already subtly revealing a wide array of aromas including blackberry tart, cedar, violets, truffles, liquorice and all spice. In the mouth however this is no shrinking violet – the ’04 is a big, concentrated and highly structured wine with somewhat impenetrable, tightly grained tannins and medium to high acid supporting its rich weight. Very, very long finish displaying hints of savoury earthiness and that signature minerality that appears to surface in better years. Drink 2009 – 2030. "
Wine Enthusiast - "The price is prerelease; it will soar on the aftermarket. This is very great Harlan. It pours dark and saturated, and the tannins are big and sturdy, not aggressive, but sweet and finely ground. Still, they give a hardness to the immaculately ripe fruit that mandates cellaring. The flavors of currants, blackberries, plums, chocolate and cedar are lush, deep and long-lasting, but just a part of the balanced appeal of this young wine. It really defines the exquisite tension between power and elegance. Best after 2008, then for many years. "
Wine Spectator - "Firmly structured and tightly wound, with deep, perfumed currant, anise, sage and cedary oak notes, picking up a mineral and pebble edge and ending with a return to the spicy currant fruit. Long and persistent, with tight tannins. Best from 2009 through 2020. 2,126 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep medium ruby. Superripe aromas and flavors of roasted black raspberry, licorice, mocha and minerals; just this side of liqueur-like. Thick, dense and silky but tightly wound and still youthfully closed. This compellingly deep wine boasts outstanding sweetness without coming off as over the top. Finishes with huge but sweet tannins and great length."
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Harlan Estate Winery
For over two decades, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "first growth" wine estate. Founded in 1984, Harlan Estate is set in the western hills of Oakville, rising above the fabled Napa Valley benchlands. Carved from the raw land and built for generations, the estate is over 240 acres of natural spendor, 15% of which are under vine, planted to the classic varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. View all Harlan Estate Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.