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Harlan Estate 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • WE94
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Its color is a full, deep ruby. The vibrant nose is rich in detail. The entry is currently intensely fruit-forward in a lively and refreshing way, with tremendous mouth-energy and layered flavors of blackberry, raspberry, tobacco, anise, and spice. There is a focus and linearity, reminiscent of the 1996 when it was in its youth, that bodes well for both early enjoyment and extended longevity. While it's in the early stages of its evolution, we feel it has great long-term potential.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
Intense aromas of black pepper, blueberry, blackberry, tar, and black licorice. Full bodied, with amazing length and a toned muscular character. This lasts for minutes. Like a world class ballerina. It is held back and beautiful. Please leave this alone until 2015!
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Harlan Estate has turned out better than I originally predicted. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by classic aromas of creme de cassis, melted licorice, smoked meats, burning embers, and graphite. It has thrown off some of the tannic clout it displayed last year, revealing great balance. A candidate for “wine of the vintage,” this dense, full-bodied effort has 25+ years of life ahead of it. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Tight and complex, with a dry, earthy mineral edge to the red currant and black cherry fruit, but this slowly unwinds, revealing greater depth and concentration and ending with a long, persistent finish. Quite tannic, but the flavors push through on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2020.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Here's a big, flashy, cult-style wine if ever there was one. It offers masses of blackberries, black currants, coffee, spices and new oak. Vastly rich, it defines the Harlan Estate style, although, in this vintage, perhaps not quite at its highest expression. Nonetheless the wine is fat and unctuous and immediately drinkable, thanks to refined tannins. Yet it should age effortlessly through 2018.
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Harlan

Harlan Estate

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Harlan Estate, Oakville, 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.

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Oakville

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Home to some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon in America, Napa Valley’s Oakville district stretches across the center of Napa's valley floor and foothills between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. This AVA is home to the legendary To Kalon Vineyard and Martha's Vineyard, as well as many powerhouse wineries including Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Far Niente and Groth.

The climate is generally warm and agreeable, resulting in year after year of favorable vintages. Summer days see a gentle tug of war between warmer inland air and the cool air coming in from the San Pablo Bay, creating an ideal environment to grow red varieties. Oakville's diverse soils, namely ancient sea bedrock, clay and gravel, are well-drained, and perfect for high-caliber viticulture.

Cabernet here is often bottled varietally but is also popular in Bordeaux Blends. Oakville wines are known for their silky, sensual textures, structured tannins, dark and brooding fruit and lovely aromatics. These age-worthy and prestigious wines are favored by collectors throughout the world.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

AKN105590_2006 Item# 105590