Deep color. a complex, slightly earthy, sweet mineral nose reminiscent of wild brush and undergrowth, glazed fruit, cedar, toasty vanilla, and ripe black currants. With aeration the aromatics grow significantly more multi-faceted, with distinct notes of celery and green olive. Although still outsized in the mouth, it shows remarkable balance with plenty of sweet ripe fruit, enhanced by layers of green and black olives. the finish lingers on with smooth and noticeably ripe tannins. The 1991 has been tightly wound and slow to evolve for much of its life.
"This is a profoundly great wine. It came across in a blind tasting as one of the most remarkable wines there, with most tasters mistaking it for a first-growth Medoc. The wine revealed an opaque purple color, a fabulously complex, sweet nose of minerals, fruitcake, cedar, toasty new oak, and pure blackcurrant fruit. Although huge in the mouth, the wine is remarkably well-balanced, with its high tannin level well-concealed by copious quantities of sweet ripe fruit, as well as huge amounts of glycerin and extract. I have consistently rated the 1991 Harlan Estate in the mid to upper nineties, but in this blind tasting with so many high quality wines, it was a big-time winner. Approachable now, this wine should be at its best by the turn of the century and last for 2-3 decades."
The Wine Advocate