x
  • Country ranking ?

    7
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    6h
  • When to drink

    from 2018
  • Food Pairing

    St. Francis Mission Style Beef Stew

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 50 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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Parker 98+: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2010 Harlan Estate inch closer to perfection over the next decade. Surprisingly supple for this vintage, while this cuvee is not usually that flamboyant or exuberant in its youth, the 2010 is sensual and performing remarkably well. Its deep purple color is accompanied by notions of charcoal, graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, barbecue smoke and blackberries. As usual, this complex effort reminds me of a hypothetical blend of a great Pauillac and Graves (such as La Mission Haut-Brion). Rich, full-bodied and softer than I would have expected in this vintage, it is a prodigious, multidimensional, compelling wine. It requires 3-5 years of bottle age and should drink well over the following 30+ years. 

It is hard to believe but Bill Harlan’s beautiful estate in the lower hills of the Mayacamas Mountains on the western side of Napa has now made over twenty vintages. (I have mixed emotions, as I am old enough to remember them all.) The Maiden is always an impressive effort, but it is built to be drunk at an early age.
 

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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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Average Bottle Price

2020 2018 2016 2015 2014
755€ +2.9% 734€ +9.2% 672€ +2.0% 659€ +4.3% 632€

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.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

27 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Youthful and Ruby red

ending

Long, Extensive, Spicy and Alcoholic

flavors

Blackberry, Vanilla, Toasty, Truffles, Smoky and Meaty

nose

Youthful, Pure, Complex and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, High tannin, Balanced, Complex, Concentrated, Youthful, Full-bodied, Fragrant, Full, Toasty and Silky tannins

Verdict

Full-bodied and Well made

Written Notes

Fascinating aromas of rock and dark fruits such as blueberries and blackberries. Transparency is fascinating. Full body, with wonderfully formed tannins that give tension and form to a perfect wine of incredible layers and depth. Reminds me of something like 1961 Latour - not that I tasted it young, but there's a classicism to it. Unmitigated purity to this wine. This will be so much better in 2020. Get the chance to try it.

  • 100p

Saturated medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, smoke, minerals and hints of forest floor. At once silky and high-pitched, offering superb concentration of fruit and inner-palate saline energy even if it's an infant today. Boasts a rare combination of density and nerve. Has great breed and an inexorably building finish that must be experienced to be believed. This will be great by about 2020. Will it merit a perfect score then?

  • 98p

The 2010 Harlan Estate is magnificent. One of the very best wines I have ever tasted at Harlan, the 2010 brings together richness and volume, but with a level of energy and sheer precision I don't think I have ever seen in a young Harlan Estate. Layers of deeply expressive dark red/black fruit, cloves, menthol and new leather flesh out in a seamless wine endowed with stunning balance and class. Iron, melted road tar, tobacco and incense add shades of complexity on the finish. The 2010 has turned out even better than I had originally expected. Today it is epic.

  • 100p
Clear and deep ruby-red colour. The nose is astonishingly youthful revealing black cherry, lingo berry and smoke aromas. Oak nuances are still slightly noticeable and the delicate yet complex nose is enriched by tobacco notes. Full bodied, vigour and very elegantly harmonious wine. A firm tannic backbone supports the persistent and flavourful wine.
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Oakville, Napa Valley

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Glass time

3h

Drinking temperature

16

Inside Information

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2010 Harlan Estate inch closer to perfection over the next decade. Surprisingly supple for this vintage, while this cuvee is not usually that flamboyant or exuberant in its youth, the 2010 is sensual and performing remarkably well. Its deep purple color is accompanied by notions of charcoal, graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, barbecue smoke and blackberries. As usual, this complex effort reminds me of a hypothetical blend of a great Pauillac and Graves (such as La Mission Haut-Brion). Rich, full-bodied and softer than I would have expected in this vintage, it is a prodigious, multidimensional, compelling wine. It requires 3-5 years of bottle age and should drink well over the following 30+ years. 

It is hard to believe but Bill Harlan’s beautiful estate in the lower hills of the Mayacamas Mountains on the western side of Napa has now made over twenty vintages. (I have mixed emotions, as I am old enough to remember them all.) The Maiden is always an impressive effort, but it is built to be drunk at an early age.

Wine Advocate #209
Oct 2013
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 98+ Drink: 2016 - 2046 $795-$1150 (750)
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