Small taste this afternoon, brief note from memory. Black fruit is very ripe, but retains balance if not restraint. Starting to mature nicely with sweet spice. Preferred this over 2001 Matriarch tasted next.
Harlan + Friends Intro Retro (Whitehead's, Northbrook, IL): Deep dark ruby. Big, full nose is quite un-evolved and brutish with plummy fruit and notions of earth/tobacco. Palate brings the power with richer fruit and grippy tannin. Flavor-wise this is relatively un-evolved. But texturally, I enjoy the power and interplay of fruit, tannin and acid. Well balanced. Fun to drink. My #4, Group #7.
First pour from a Coravin. This wine showed really young. The nose was dominated by blackberry and cassis, with oaky notes and vanilla. It had a Bordeaux-like austerity. The palate was fruit driven but structured, with a surprising amount of bitter tannins that somewhat smoothed out over a couple hours in the glass. This wine was clearly young and has a long way to go. It is not what I expected from a Harlan wine, which by all accounts is supposedly a "sweet fruit bomb".
More interestedly, I actually blind tasted this wine against the 2001 Harlan Grand Vin. That wine was more openly fruity on the palate, with more complexity and more appeal. It was also smoother and less tannic. The Harlan was easier to like now, and I actually incorrectly guessed it was the Maiden because of its openness and softness. While I preferred the Grand Vin, the difference was far too small considering the price gap.
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