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2003 Harlan 750ml
2003 Harlan
USA - California - Napa - Napa Valley
Red / Bordeaux Blend
2003 Harlan
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Professional Reviews


International Wine Cellar Author: Stephen Tanzer Issue: Issue 126

Good deep ruby-red. Blackcurrant, minerals, graphite, mocha and leather on the nose. Sweet and tightly wound, with a violet topnote and terrific depth of flavor. This powerfully structured wine has plenty of meat on its bones. The tannins are huge but refined. This must be among the three or four longest wines of the vintage, with the violet quality persisting on the aftertaste. (I retasted the 2002 on this occasion, and this elixir of a wine continues to be one of the greatest California cabernets of my experience, with a knockout nose of black raspberry, minerals, tobacco and crushed stone; a superconcentrated essence of cabernet on the palate; and an almost confectionery finish of incredible persistence. My latest sample merited a solid 98.)

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Wine Advocate Author: Robert Parker Issue: 207

One of the most backward yet promising wines of the vintage is the 2003 Harlan Estate. Its dense opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, smoky barbecue wood and a hint of forest floor. Similar flavors hit the mouth with full-bodied splendor, a multidimensional mouthfeel and texture, and the sensational finish lasts more than 45 seconds. Some tannins are still present, and this wine seems much younger than expected at ten years of age, so give it 4-5 more years of bottle age and consume it over the following 20-25 years.

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Wine Spectator Author: James Laube

Creamy vanilla oak adds a nice flavor dimension to the rich, elegant layers of currant, blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors. Intense and persistent, offering a long, complex aftertaste, with hints of mineral and sage. 1,827 cases made.

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Community Reviews


G Trust Rating: 98 Tasted On: 12/31/2013

Tasted too early. Needs a lot of decant time.


Johnnymd Trust Rating: 96 Tasted On: 03/31/2013

Solid dark berry and cassis but tannin still sharp. Flavor a bit simple.


JLANDAULA Trust Rating: 97 Tasted On: 08/30/2012 Drink Dates: 2012-2025

Intense, vibrant, firm and focused, with a touch of raciness to the concentrated mocha, blackberry and graphite. Extracted, chewy and firmly tannic, but with tight focus and persistence of flavor.--Non-blind Harlan retrospective (2010). Drink now through 2025. 1,827 cases made


David 429 Trust Rating: 99 Tasted On: 05/20/2011 Drink Dates: 2011-2030

Deep dark ruby red almost black, nose of cherries, saddle leather, wonderful thick mouthfeel with a lonf 45+ second finish. A great wine from Bill Harlan.


Jeffrey M989 Trust Rating: 97 Tasted On: 04/27/2011

I really like this wine. Rich, lush nose and flavors, but none of the flabbiness of some California wines. It has a firmness and backbone that make Harlan a rare pleasure.

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