1994 Harlan Estate

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 100 WA
  • 93 WS
  • 96 IWC
  • 90 JR
  • Variety
    Red Bordeaux Blend
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SKU: 51563-1994-750-3A
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 18

    From The Purple Notebook ? California Dinner at Gidleigh Park.Much more acidity evident. Drier, more explosive. Dry finish - slightly too dry? The Monte Bello is better and costs a quarter of this!
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 96

    Slightly more vibrant saturated ruby-red color. Even deeper and more nuanced aromas of liqueur-like blackcurrant, black olive, violet, minerals, brown spices and floral perfume. In contrast to the (relatively) more laid-back '95, this is almost painfully sweet on entry, with huge extract giving it a three-dimensional texture. More powerfully structured than the '95, but as large as it is, it retains near-perfect balance. Explosive finishing fruit covers the rich, sweet tannins.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 1998
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 100

    What can I say about the 1994? I have tasted the wine for three consecutive years, and each time it satisfied all of my requirements for perfection. The opaque purple color is followed by spectacular aromatics that soar from the glass, offering up celestial levels of black currants, minerals, smoked herbs, cedar wood, coffee, and pain grille. In the mouth, this seamless legend reveals full body, and exquisite layers of phenomenally pure and rich fruit, followed by a 40+ second finish. While accessible, the 1994 begs for another 5-7 years of cellaring. It should easily last for 30+ years. Every possible jagged edge - acidity, alcohol, tannin, and wood - is brilliantly intertwined in what seems like a diaphanous format. What is so extraordinary about this large-scaled wine, with its dazzling display of aromatics and prodigious flavors and depth, is that it offers no hint of heaviness or coarseness. Harlan's 1994 comes close to immortality in the glass. Much of this wine will be sold to the winery's mailing list customers. If you miss out on the 1994, try and get on the waiting list for future vintages. While perfect wines are few and far between, history has taught me that wineries with such lofty aspirations as Harlan Estate will continue to push the envelop of quality.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    Wonderful raspberry and vanilla aromas, with lots of currants. Full-bodied, with lots of ripe fruit and round tannins. Chewy and very rich. Still needs some time to mellow.
    Author: James Suckling
  • Self | Rating: 100

    Drink Dates: (02-27)
    Author: winefolio
  • Self | Rating: 100

    Author: Behruz Nassre
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Author: rcl
  • Self | Rating:

    Drink Dates: 2007 - 2010
    Author: Regina C
  • Self | Rating: 100

    Before I tasted the 2001 Harlan Estate, the '94 remained (along with the '94/?97 Bryant Families) my reference point for perfection in California Cabernet Sauvignon. The '94 Harlan is a more useful yardstick then the ?94/?97 Bryants because Harlan hews closer to the line of a traditional Cabernet Sauvignon. The '94 Harlan remains perfectly balanced with huge all encompassing power but gossamer elegance at the same time. Still a baby, the aromatics are still subdued compared to how this wine presented five years ago. Texturally, the wine is all crushed velvet with near impossible length.
    Drink Dates: 2009-2020
    Author: Daniel B
  • Self | Rating:

    Cancelled and credit recived
    Author: Conrad K
  • Self | Rating:

    Delicious!!! Amazing complexity. The rich fruit is still there but buried under tons of earth, eucalytus, and savory spice. Not decanted but drank over about 3 hours. Amazing to watch this change. And to simply breathe it over and over was amazing
    Author: MikeA
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Drunk over the span of a 4 hour lazy lunch. I brought 3 different bottles and asked my friend to pick a number and that we drink the wine blind. Fyi the other bottles were a 2002 Ridge Monte Bello and a 2002 Abreu Thorevilos - clearly my friend hit the right number! The following note was from memory before we were told which wine had been drunk: No decant. Initial aromas of cherry, pain grillAc, sweetness reverberated from the glass with a touch of acidity. The palate was somewhat disjointed with a great initial sharp thrust, followed by a lull, and then a teasing, promising finish. Upon the first bite of food (carpaccio w/ truffle), this came to life as if the food caused all the components to mesh into a seamless, unctuous, delicious wine. With time, the flavors kept soaring (no descriptives as we were deeply entrenched in conversation) and the wine just kept improving. I was more than happy to chew on the sediment which found its way into my glass! As state by others, the appearance and exuberance of this wine defy it's age and you'd be forgiven for believing this was less than 10 years old. This is a very special wine and I will make it a point to follow it every so often. In light of $1,000+ bottles of 2009 Bordeaux, I'm more than happy opening ready to drink (and with years of life ahead) 1994 Harlans. 50+10+9+20+10=99+
    Author: taipanli
  • Self | Rating: 99

    Ok, I do not know what a 100-point wine should taste like, but sipping this extraordinary wine one characterisitic hit me and that was how incredibly well-balanced this wine is. It is a perfectly tuned ochestra with all the qualities you look for playing their part expertly. Delicious core of ripe blackberry, black raspberry and black currant fruit. Framed beautifully by finely grained tannins. Notes of earth, chalk and spicebox emerge on the mid-palate. Everything comes together on a long, silky, elegant finish that caresses the palate. You sit there and savor this finish after every sip. Wow. A truly special wine (and my only bottle).
    Drink Dates: 2012-2020
    Author: StuTarheel
  • Self | Rating:

    The best grape harvest this year!
    Author: susandunham
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 other similar producers:Opus One,Pahlmeyer,Sloan Estate

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 1234 bottles owned
  • 307 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 100
    (Out of 307 collectors)