Red

1994 Harlan Estate

Red Bordeaux Blend

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
Drink between 2004 - 2024 (Edit)
CT97 122 reviews
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Community Tasting Notes 115

  • Zweder wrote: 99 points

    August 3, 2019 - Regular dinner group (@ JvT): Fantastic and perfumed bouquet with red and dark berries, oak and smoke. On the palate a beautiful balance between acidity and sweetness, red and dark berries, chocolate, elegance, some autumn impressions and still slightly drying tannin. For me personally Petrus 1995 was just a little more complete because the wine was a little more ready to drink. This Harlan still has a very good future and will probably improve with another 4+ years of ageing. 98 – 99

  • Dave77 Likes this wine: 95 points

    August 3, 2019 - Brief note from blind tasting yesterday at a friends place.
    A big and huge napa cab, broad shouldered and stil elegant in a way.
    Had stil a bit of a tannic grip and a palet supported by enough black and red fruit. This is still a beast, the drink between time above should be extended by at least 10 years. Compared to Petrus 1995 this was feeling much younger, but equally great.
    Thx to that same crazy friend ;-)

  • jshufelt wrote: 96 points

    July 11, 2019 - Slow-oxed 90 minutes before service. In the glass, deep indigo-red, very youthful appearance. On the nose, crushed blueberries and cedar. On the palate, currants, blueberries, cedar, a hint of smoke, and a slightly floral, slightly sweet, and very seductive mid-palate, with a long finish. Remarkably balanced wine, bouncing between fruit and complexity all night long, and one of the best cabs I've had in quite some time. While there are some tannins, they're silky and largely resolved, so now would be a good time to check in...

  • Cailles wrote: 95 points

    May 21, 2019 - Harlan Vertical (Zurich): Nine Vintages of Harlan. Some conclusions/highlights? Harlan is certainly one of the most consistently elegant, feminine Napa wines. Wonderfully smooth structure and texture, airiness in the best possible way. Exceptional! Still, they’re not light and come with a very good aromatic pressure and complexity. While the most recent vintages showed close to perfection, the vintages from the 90s didn‘t live up to expectations. Unfortunately, they (and I include the 2004) all seemed on the downward path showing signs of fatigue with some unwanted tones on the nose (not palate) despite a most perfect provenance. The younger vintages (coming not from 10 but 30+ year old wines) will certainly have a much longer life. The best wine was the 2012, followed by 2014, 2013 and 2005. Especially the young vintages are certainly among the best Napa has to offer and worth buying.

    TN: An unbelievably sexy and feminine wine, so soft and round. High aromatic complexity and precision with strawberries, red currant, darker forest berries, tobacco, fresh forest floor, black truffles, smoke, mint, graphite. Good delineation. Constant change. Mellowed tannins, good freshness, good harmony and balance. What prevents me from giving a higher score is the missing tension, strength. The Dominus 94 I had a few weeks ago is the clearly better version of this wine with more of everything. Not to mention the 94 Shafer HS, which is still crazily young. This legendary vintage of Harlan is rather light on its feet and on the downward path. 95- points with the last sips being rather in the 92/93 range.

    Decanting: 2.5h slow-ox, 40+ minutes in the glass. The wine was good from the start but improved with air revealing a broader aromatic spectrum. However, after 3 hours in the glass it started to decline. Caution is advised here. I would rather follow it over time in the glass than decant it prior to consumption.

  • sirpat007 Likes this wine: 94 points

    May 21, 2019 - Harlan vertical (Clouds restaurant, Zurich): Harlan vertical of 9 vintages over 25 years (1994-96, 2004-06, 2012-14), quite rare apparently and not many of these happening outside of Switzerland – benefit of living in a high GDP per capita country I guess. All wines excelled distinctly with softness, elegance and feminine showings as well as perfectly integrated tannins, especially for the naughties. Wine of the night was 2012 with 2005 the runner-up and 2014 not far behind. The 1990ies showed early signs of tiring unfortunately, but maybe not a big surprise given vines were only about 10 years old back then. Francois Vignaud, an associate with Harlan, co-hosted the event and shared plenty of insights. See the tasting story for more on this. As we were explained, the 1990ies represented the childhood years for this still rather recent estate (founded 1984, first vintage 1990). The 2000s were characterized as the teenage years in slightly warmer vintages where you have to careful with the 2001-04 (all still very powerful) but where the 2005 and 2006 are reaching ideal levels of integration now. The 2010s, finally, Francois highlighted that the estate felt they arrived exactly where they wanted to be in terms of how Harlan understands their product and that they have never produced better wines than today. All bottles were opened 2.5h before the start.

    2014 was one of the earliest vintages, wines were only 9 years old. This was the first growing season yielding close to perfection fruit according to Fracois Vignaud. Delicate, linear and still youthful with great fruit presence, mostly cassis, ripe berries, just a whiff of leather and fine cedar wood. Very Bordeaux-like first impression, but weightless and sexy too and more feminine. Pretty acidic with some heat, firm structure, and just a tad edgy tannins and a not as fine a texture as I would have hoped. Great stuff for sure and the strongest of the 1990ies we were shown. But the Dominus 1994 which I had only a few weeks ago seemed even better at this stage. A >95 nose no doubt initially, but after 1.5h in the glass age tiredness kicks in which also drops through to the palate unfortunately – although this also adds some earthy complexity. A great wine in a great spot, but maybe best to drink up rather sooner than later.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
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  • By Jancis Robinson, MW
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RJonWine.com

  • By Richard Jennings
    9/9/2012 (link) 96 points

    (Harlan Estate) Nearly opaque red violet color; lifted, ripe black currant, sweet tobacco, tarragon nose; tasty, ripe black fruit, black currant, mineral, tart black fruit, tarragon, tobacco palate; long finish

Rockss and Fruit

  • By Lyle Fass
    9/19/2005 (link)

    (Harlan Estate) This had a decent nose of blueberries, smoke and toasty oak. Hot . . .hot . ..hot on the palate with syrupy fruit and a short finish. This bottle was impeccably stored and never moved since release. Really not good.

RJonWine.com

  • By Richard Jennings
    5/25/2003 (link) 93 points

    (Harlan Estate) 1994 Cali Cabs Blindtasted (Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Bryant, Araujo, Abreu, Shafer HS) (Skirball Center, Los Angeles, California): Reticent berry nose; concentrated, cassis, strawberry, kirsch palate with firm, sweet tannins; medium-plus finish

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 1994
  • Type Red
  • Producer Harlan Estate
  • Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Napa Valley
  • Appellation Napa Valley
  • UPC Code 1000000000239

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 12 (1%)
  • In Cellars 1,407 (69%)
  • Consumed 630 (31%)

Food Pairing

No food pairings available.

Who Likes This Wine

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