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Top Vintages Produced:
1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine – First Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon (100%).
Harlan Estate The Maiden – Second Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (25%).
Set in the heart of the Napa Valley in the western hills of Oakville, Harlan Estate was founded in 1984 by real estate developer
and entrepreneur, Bill Harlan, whose ambition was to create a Californian ‘First Growth’ from the 97 hectare estate.
The early vintages were deemed to be interesting experiments but not of a high enough standard for the premium wines that Harlan desired.
However, in 1996 the first commercial vintage of Proprietary Red Wine (the 1990 vintage) was released to critical acclaim. Made from
100% Cabernet Sauvignon since 1998, annual production is only 1,800 cases, creating intense demand for this rare wine.
In 1999, the 1995 vintage of the estate’s second wine, The Maiden, was released. This also received favourable reviews, with the 2004
vintage scoring particularly well. Only 900 cases are released each year. (read more)
Both wines are complex, full-bodied and rich. The Wine Advocate has awarded the Proprietary Red Wine with 100 points four times (in
1994, 1997, 2001 and 2002) which has contributed to the estate’s flawless reputation.
Harlan also own a 32 hectare property in St. Helena called The Napa Valley Reserve. This members-only winery and vineyard project was
established in 2004 and allows its prestigious, and often famous, members to create their own wines in return for an annual membership fee.
Viticulture and Vinification
The winemaker, Bob Levy, has worked with Harlan since 1983 and since 1989 the estate has retained Michel Rolland as
consulting oenologist, ensuring that the utmost care and attention is paid to the quality, style and consistency of the wines.
With 17 hectares currently under vine, the topography of the estate lends itself greatly to the production of intensely concentrated
fruit. The vines are grown on both volcanic and sedimentary bedrock above the Oakville bench lands and the estate’s elevation
ranges from 68 to 374 metres above sea level.
The fruit is hand harvested in small batches and hand sorted. Each lot is vinified separately and the grapes are cold macerated
for 5-7 days before fermentation commences with frequent pumping over.
About 14 months into the ageing process, Levy blends the wines from the various plots. The wine is then aged for between 2 and
3 years in new French oak. The wines are neither fined nor filtered prior to bottling.
- Cabernet Sauvignon greatly dominates the plantings; Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are also grown in small amounts.
- Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine – First Wine: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Harlan Estate The Maiden – Second Wine: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, and varying amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Order top vintages of Harlan Estate
- Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine 2002: (100 LPB)
"This wine is at once rich and full bodied yet exquisitely elegant..." – Lisa Perrott-Brown, The Wine Advocate
- Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine 1997: (100 RP)
"The 1997 Harlan Estate is one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines I have ever tasted..." – Robert Parker,
The Wine Advocate
- Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine 1994: (100 RP)
"Harlan's 1994 comes close to immortality in the glass..." – Robert Parker,
The Wine Advocate