2003 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the most backward yet promising wines of the vintage is the 2003 Harlan Estate. Its dense opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, smoky barbecue wood and a hint of forest floor. Similar flavors hit the mouth with full-bodied splendor, a multidimensional mouthfeel and texture, and the sensational finish lasts more than 45 seconds. Some tannins are still present, and this wine seems much younger than expected at ten years of age, so give it 4-5 more years of bottle age and consume it over the following 20-25 years. 98+ (RP)
Another spectacular Harlan...It shows the earthy quality that marks wines off the estate, with an aroma suggesting a warm bale of hay under the summer sun, a sweet straw and bay laurel scent that adds savory richness to the cherry, blackberry and chocolate flavors. As usual, the tannins are virtual perfection, at once sweet and firm, dense and fine, perfectly in balance with all the fruit and new oak. So young now, a fat little baby of a wine that’s irresistible, but will hold and improve well beyond its tenth birthday.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good deep ruby-red. Blackcurrant, minerals, graphite, mocha and leather on the nose. Sweet and tightly wound, with a violet topnote and terrific depth of flavor. This powerfully structured wine has plenty of meat on its bones. The tannins are huge but refined. This must be among the three or four longest wines of the vintage, with the violet quality persisting on the aftertaste. (I retasted the 2002 on this occasion, and this elixir of a wine continues to be one of the greatest California cabernets of my experience, with a knockout nose of black raspberry, minerals, tobacco and crushed stone; a superconcentrated essence of cabernet on the palate; and an almost confectionery finish of incredible persistence. My latest sample merited a solid 98.) (ST)
Mature and a bit muddled, rich and potent, with a mix of loamy earth and dry dark berry notes, ending with a touch of mocha and metal. (Web Only—2013)