99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Harlan Estate is reminiscent of their 2002. Probably a candidate for perfection with another 4-5 years of bottle age, the wine is inky plum/purple to the rim and offers a gorgeous nose of scorched earth, blackberry and cassis, forest floor, and a floral, lavender-like component followed by deep, opulent, majestic flavors that caress the palate with high but sweet tannin. This is relatively evolved, and supple and voluptuous for a young Harlan estate -- hence the comparison with their compelling 2002. This wine can be drunk in several years and is likely another candidate for 30-50 years of cellaring. 99+ points. 99+ (RP) (10/2015)
98 points James Suckling
This shows incredible lavender aromas with Provencal undertones of violets, dark fruits such as blueberry and blackberry, and some walnut. Full body plus ultra fine tannins that build on the finish. It really comes on with a rolling tannin structure. Tightly wound. A muscular and elegant wine with superb tone. A fresh and bright Harlan. This wine has levity, as the winemaker likes to say. Try in 2020. (7/2015)
95-97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Full, bright ruby. Superripe, slightly high-toned aromas of cassis, blackberry and licorice, with a brightening note of minerality. Silky, dense and large-scaled but extremely primary and imploded, showing outstanding cut and lift to its dark berry and mineral flavors. A juicy minty note gives additional lift to this seriously plush, concentrated wine. Finishes with huge but noble tongue-saturating tannins and outstanding length. Great potential here. (ST) (5/2014)
97 points Vinous
The 2012 Harlan Estate is striking in its beauty. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, mint and new leather are all laced together in a Harlan Estate endowed with a compelling interplay of energy and nuance. This is an especially showy, radiant Harlan Estate that is likely to offer a wide window of pure drinking pleasure. The 2012 is not a big wine, but rather a Harlan Estate built on finesse. (AG) (10/2015)
93 points Wine Spectator
Dusty, loamy tannins provide the outline, with a crushed rock--laced mix of dried berry, sage and cedary oak. Still very tight and oaky, but time should resolve that, as this ends elegantly, with spice and firm tannins. (JL) (11/2015)
With the founding of Harlan Estate in 1984, we embarked upon our mission of creating a “first growth” of California. The estate’s early vineyard development began with just six acres. Today our planting is essentially complete, with nearly forty acres under vine to the classic varietals: cabernet sauvignon (70%), merlot (20%), cabernet franc (8%), and petit verdot (2%). Invariably, the finished wine is predominately cabernet sauvignon, which we blend with varying amounts of the other three varietals as we seek to express faithfully the unique and distinctive character of the site.
Modest quantities of wine were produced in 1987, 1988, and 1989 from grapes that represented the second, third, and fourth leaf of our estate vineyard. In each of those years a small number of barrels were produced in the hope of gaining a prescient glimpse into what the character of the land—never before cultivated—might have to offer. The wines were blended, bottled, and labeled with a special designation. Though charming in their own way, these first wines fell short of our standards and aspirations, so were never released. They continue to serve as humble reminders of where we began the journey.
Average Bottle Price