2004 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Proprietary Red (1.5L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Harlan Estate is probably the most precocious and accessible Harlan Estate that this perfectionist team has made. Already compelling, the wine has notes of roasted coffee, charcoal, blackberry, spring flowers, and some background sweet, toasty notes. Dense, fleshy, exuberant, even flamboyant by the standards of Bill Harlan, this wine exhibits no jaggedness or rough edges, has relatively high tannins, but they melt away on the palate. The wine is sensationally well-endowed, long, and rich -- a tour de force in winemaking. They can do no wrong at Harlan, and it is obvious, even in the most challenging vintages such as 1998, that this estate is a true grand cru/first growth, making wines of irrefutable world-class quality. Of course, none of this comes cheap, as the price is now moving up into the league with Screaming Eagle, but there are no shortage of takers.
This is very great Harlan. It pours dark and saturated, and the tannins are big and sturdy, not aggressive, but sweet and finely ground. Still, they give a hardness to the immaculately ripe fruit that mandates cellaring. The flavors of currants, blackberries, plums, chocolate and cedar are lush, deep and long-lasting, but just a part of the balanced appeal of this young wine. It really defines the exquisite tension between power and elegance. Best after 2008, then for many years.
Starts out closed, but very intense and concentrated, with tight currant, spice, cedar, anise and blackberry flavors. Maintains a long, vibrant finish. (Web Only- 2010)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Superripe aromas of raspberry, currant and tropical dark chocolate. Sweet, lush and large-scaled, hinting at surmaturite and compellingly mouthfilling without coming across as heavy. This extremely ripe wine's high pH seems fully buffered by huge dry extract. Finishes with big but lush tannins and outstanding palate-staining persistence. A bit port-like but with mineral and licorice notes giving it definition and grip. 95(+?) points