2003 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Proprietary Red
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+)
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...
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Aromas of plum syrup, black licorice, menthol and roasted nuts. Can't match the 2004 for depth of flavor or consistency of ripeness but conveys a fairly refined texture. A bit chunkier than the best vintages of this wine, but there's strong underlying backbone here for aging. In spite of its firm tannic spine, the finish shows lovely floral persistence.
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. The better of two bottles tasted.—2003 California Cabernet blind retrospective (July 2013). Drink now. (Web-2013)