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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP97
  • WE97
  • WS94
0% ABV
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  • WS97
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Winemaker Notes

For twenty five years, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "First Growth" wine estate.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Not unexpectedly, the 2005 Harlan Estate performed slightly better than it did last year. As these wines often do, it continues to put on weight as it is bottled very late by Napa standards, and there is no fining or filtration. The 2005 exhibits a gorgeous thick-looking, ruby/purple color in addition to a beautiful nose of burning embers interwoven with creme de cassis, roasted meats, sweet black truffles, and spring flowers. A hint of lead pencil shavings also emerges from this cuvee, which seems to want to be both a Pauillac and a ripe vintage of La Mission Haut Brion. Full-bodied, dense, pure, and revealing sweeter tannin than I remember, it can be drunk now, but it will no doubt display even greater complexity in 10, 20, and 30 years.
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Massive, decadent. Opens with extraordinary aromas of cedar, black currants, cherries, chocolate, sage, pepper and anise, with hits of roasted game. Feels very round, smooth but powerful. Almost sweet in red and black currants and chocolate. So refined, absolutely delicious. Beautiful, lush, complex, soft. Should age.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Dense and earthy, with savory herb, dried currant, spice, mint and cedary oak flavors, all tightly wound, compact and concentrated, yet with a seam of elegance and finesse. Very intense and powerful. To be released spring 2009. Best from 2011 through 2018.
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Harlan

Harlan Estate

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Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MLLHARESTMG_2005 Item# 116801