2003 Harlan 750ml

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IWC 95   WA 98+   WS 90   Customer 95
2003 Harlan Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 95

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.)

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 126

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Wine Advocate | Rating: 98+

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.

Drink Dates: 2017-2042
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 207

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 90

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.

Drink Dates: 2008-2012
Author: James Laube


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Customer Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 95
Author: Matt O
Drink Dates: 2011-2027

Rating: 96
Author: G
Trust Rating: 93
Tasted On: 12/31/2013
Tasted too early. Needs a lot of decant time.

Rating: 92
Author: Johnnymd
Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 03/31/2013
Solid dark berry and cassis but tannin still sharp. Flavor a bit simple.

Rating: 94
Author: 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

Rating: 94
Author: 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.

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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.

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

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