1997 Harlan 750ml

USA - California - Napa - Napa Valley/ Red / Bordeaux Blend
1997 Harlan
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International Wine Cellar | 97

Saturated ruby. Liqueur-like superripe nose combines roasted cherry, black raspberry, minerals and Valrhona chocolate; distinctly port-like notes. Voluptuous and huge in the mouth, with explosive fruit bordering on confectionary; flavor of chocolate-covered currants. Much more powerfully structured than the estate second wine but the backbone is hidden under a tidal wave of lush fruit. Endless finish features extraordinarily fine, suave tannins. Like the '97 Bryant Family Vineyard cabernet, this freakishly ripe wine reminds me of a great '47 Pomerol.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 90

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Wine Advocate | 100

The 1997 Harlan Estate is one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines I have ever tasted. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this enormously-endowed, profoundly rich wine must be tasted to be believed. Opaque purple-colored, it boasts spectacular, soaring aromatics of vanilla, minerals, coffee, blackberries, licorice, and cassis. In the mouth, layer after layer unfold powerfully yet gently. Acidity, tannin, and alcohol are well-balanced by the wine's unreal richness and singular personality. The finish exceeds one minute.

Drink Dates: 2001-2030


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Wine Spectator | 100

Powerful aromas of currants, dried fruits and cedar, with a hints of treacle tart. Full-bodied, with masses of fruit and fabulous berry, currant, coconut flavors. Lasts for minutes. Spellbinding. Enjoyable now, but will improve for decades. The twin to 2000 Latour.

Drink Dates: 2006+
Author: James Suckling


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Score: 98
Author: G
Trust Rating: 97
Tasted On: 09/27/2013
Score: 98
Author: Carlo L
Trust Rating: 90
Tasted On: 06/13/2011
Nectar of the gods...
Score: 100
Author: winefolio
Trust Rating: 81
Tasted On: 03/04/2009
Score: 100
Author: Daniel B
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 10/20/2003
Drink Dates: 2007+
The '97 has always impressed me mainly because of its power rather than grace and elegance. While the '97 still shows enormous strength (greater in magnitude then even the '94), time has begun to work its magic. Today, the ?97 shows increasingly more suppleness without losing one iota of its power. Prior tastings of the '97 have revealed potential VA problems. This wine showed VA as well but the VA disappeared after about an hour after the wine began to be served. The moral of the story is let the '97 decant for at least eight hours prior to service. At present, the wine is rather monolithic on the palate with espresso and dark chocolate laced enormous fruit. Give it at least another decade in the cellar to let the wine?s flavor profile continue to develop.

1 of 1 people found this review useful.

About This Producer


Harlan Estate, owned by Bill Harlan, is located in the western hills of Oakville. Harlan is known for its commitment to creating a wine that is a California "First Growth," on par with those of the old world. The entire estate consists of 240 acres, including a homestead and plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Consulting oenologist Michel Rolland and winemaker Bob Levy lead the production of Harlan's wines, producing two Bordeaux-style blends: Harlan Estate's namesake proprietary red and "The Maiden." These wines have been received to great acclaim by reviewers and collectors alike, commanding high prices and a competitive waiting list. Both wines are complex, full-bodied and have the ability to age for decades. With an opulent style, rich with dense fruit and elements of black currant, spice, and minerals, Harlan is both graceful and elegant, ranking it among the top tier of California Cabernet producers.

See all California producers

See other similar producers: Opus One, Pahlmeyer, Sloan Estate

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