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  • Country ranking ?

    151
  • Producer ranking ?

    21
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    roasted lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

2005
Above-average rainfall (38 inches) continued late into the growing season, delaying bloom and set.The balance of the season was truly cool, with only one day over 100° (and that was in June!) and 29 days over 90° for the balance of the season.
After waiting for—and achieving— ideal maturity, a dramatically compressed harvest began on September 30 and concluded
October 10. Average yield: 2.5 tons per acre.

tasting notes

Vivid, dense red color. Nose slightly subdued, then—with further airing—showing vibrant
blackberry, cassis, underlying earth, and forest floor. The 2005 is very concentrated, fleshy, and rich, with layers of complex flavors not often seen. The mid-palate texture is broad, dense, and
seemingly sweet. Still young and integrating, with time it should reach a beautiful harmony.
A very intriguing vintage. Yields were just slightly above average; the alcohols, slightly
lower and the acidity levels, slightly higher than we normally experience. Consequently the
wine shows a much-appreciated focus and freshness. Very nice today. Drink now to 30+ years.

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Average Bottle Price

2023 2020 2015
1 089€ +12.8% 965€ +8.4% 890€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Tasting note

color

Deep and Ruby red

ending

Smooth and Extensive

nose

Open, Pure, Fresh and Opulent

recommend

Yes

taste

Warming, Medium tannin, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Complex, Full-bodied, Round, Vigor, Fresh, Dry and Silky tannins

Written Notes

Pure, rich and delicious, with a wealth of concentrated currant, blackberry and pomegranate flavors that are tightly wound and focused. The beam of fruit is impeccably structured, and the layers of flavor unfold gracefully. Expands on the finish, returning to core fruit flavors and adding a nice dash of mocha and cedar.

  • 97p

his is very, very floral with sage, black currants, black berries, and hot stones. Full bodied, with blackberry, black olives, and cashmere like tannins. It finishes broad and is completely captivating. This is starting to come around, but be patient for another two years.

  • 96p

Full medium ruby. Very ripe aromas and flavors of black raspberry, mocha, minerals and licorice. Wonderfully sweet and full in the mouth, offering sensational depth and palate coverage. Still very young but offers great sex appeal already owing to its sheer richness of flavor. Finishes with noble, seamless, fully ripe tannins and explosive rising length.

  • 97p

"Open-knit, sensual and perfumed, the 2005 Harlan Estate is super-expressive today. Like so many 2005s, the Harlan is a bit lacking in intensity and overall structure relative to the very best years. The 2005 is a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next 15-20 years. At some point during that arc of time, the 2005 is likely to become a bit frail, but that does not appear to be imminent. Even after thinning to a cluster per shoot, the clusters and berries were large, which required some bleeding in the tanks, a technique that is not often used at Harlan Estate

  • 95p

Above-average rainfall (38 inches) continued late into the growing season, delaying bloom and set. The balance of the season was truly cool, with only one day over 100° (and that was in June!) and 29 days over 90° for the balance of the season. After waiting for—and achieving—ideal maturity, a dramatically compressed harvest began on September 30 and concluded October 10. Average yield: 2.5 tons per acre.

tasting notes

Vivid, dense red color. Nose slightly subdued, then—with further airing—showing vibrant blackberry, cassis, underlying earth, and forest floor. The 2005 is very concentrated, fleshy, and rich, with layers of complex flavors not often seen. The mid-palate texture is broad, dense, and seemingly sweet. Still young and integrating, with time it should reach a beautiful harmony.

A very intriguing vintage. Yields were just slightly above average; the alcohols, slightlylower and the acidity levels, slightly higher than we normally experience. Consequently the wine shows a much-appreciated focus and freshness. Very nice today. Drink now to 30+ years.

Dark ruby, mocha, coffee, ripe dark fruits, cassis, a bit warm fruit if I'm really picky. Good acidity, a bit hollow in the mid palate, but very young, so this will come around, lots of ripe tannins, long finish, keep for a long time. 93

  • 93p
I’m not surprised over all positive words used to describe the vintage and wines of the 2005 vintage, most growers and winemakers seems to have been very happy about the weather conditions. And at Harlan Estate, again, they did no do any mistakes – this is one of the finest wines of the the vinetage. Of course this vintage is far too young to really enjoy today, it’s so loaded with ripe dark fruit, but also notes of cedar lead pencil (which makes the wine quite Bordeaux like). Although it’s massive in its rich primary fruit flavors, it’s just astonishing. On the palate it’s medium to fullbodied with a good acidity, a serious but ripe and fine tannin structure which includes a mineral saltiness. If the first impression is lovely and impressive, the midpalate is gorgeous, but it is in the lingering and perfectly balanced aftertaste the true greatness of this wine reveals. It’s really a textbook example of the unique terroir and skillful winemaking that makes Harlan Estate one of the very finest wines in Napa Valley, California and – to be honest – the whole New World. Of course it’s still a baby, and based on me early notes of great vintages like 1994 and 2001, I don’t feel like touching the 2005 Harlan Estate for another five years or so. What will happen after that, only the most patience winelovers will know. I expect this vintage to age for many decades, and it will most likely be one of the most memorable vintages ever from Harlan Estate.
  • 100p
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Information

Origin

Oakville, Napa Valley

Inside Information

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  Not unexpectedly, the 2005 Harlan Estate performed slightly better than it did last year. As these wines often do, it continues to put on weight as it is bottled very late by Napa standards, and there is no fining or filtration. The 2005 exhibits a gorgeous thick-looking, ruby/purple color in addition to a beautiful nose of burning embers interwoven with creme de cassis, roasted meats, sweet black truffles, and spring flowers. A hint of lead pencil shavings also emerges from this cuvee, which seems to want to be both a Pauillac and a ripe vintage of La Mission Haut Brion. Full-bodied, dense, pure, and revealing sweeter tannin than I remember, it can be drunk now, but it will no doubt display even greater complexity in 10, 20, and 30 years. (RP)   (12/ 2008)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Good deep ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of currant, tobacco, graphite, loam and smoke; hints at an almost roasted ripeness. Then densely packed, opulent and layered in the mouth, showing more fat and sweetness today than the 2006 but a slightly more granular and less refined texture...This is easier to taste today than the 2006 but is still very young.   (6/ 2010)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

  Smells a bit minty and peppery, but once in the mouth, turns ultra-generous in black currant, chocolate-covered mint and spicy cedar flavors. Massive, yet refined and elegant, and even with the firm tannins, grows more charming as it warms in the glass. Very fine quality, and likely to hold for many years.   (5/ 2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

  Tightly wound and closed, with notes of pencil lead and shavings, graphite, mineral and dried berry. The flavors are intense and persistent, without too much weight. This is graceful in its own way.--Non-blind Harlan retrospective (2010). Drink now through 2028. (Web-2010) 

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