2006 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Harlan Estate has turned out better than I originally predicted. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by classic aromas of creme de cassis, melted licorice, smoked meats, burning embers, and graphite. It has thrown off some of the tannic clout it displayed last year, revealing great balance. A candidate for 'wine of the vintage,' this dense, full-bodied effort has 25+ years of life ahead of it. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035. This extraordinary estate, run by Bill Harlan, has never had either a shortage of ambition or patience. Harlan originally had his wines made elsewhere, but never found the resulting product up to his standards until his home vineyard, high on the western hills of the Oakville Corridor, hit an acceptable level of quality, which turned out to be in 1990. In October, I did a vertical tasting of every Harlan Estate vintage made (which I will report on at a future date), and one thing that was clear is just how extraordinary these wines are, and how well they are aging. Even in California's lighter, more challenging years, Harlan turned out wines that anyone would be happy to own and consume.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Captivating aromas of redcurrant, sage, leather and game, lifted by a floral note. A sweet, juicy midweight, quite primary and closed today but with lovely inner-mouth floral lift apparent already. This is about sweetness more than sheer opulence. Most impressive today on the very long, building finish, which features suave but firm tannins and excellent lift to its lingering flavors of red fruits, forest floor and tobacco. A great performance for the year and sure to be long-lived. 95(+?)
Dense and concentrated, with firm dried currant, berry, mineral, graphite and cedary oak flavors that are just beginning to unfold. Non-blind Harlan retrospective. (Web-2010)