2006 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1057891 96 points 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.  (12/ 2009)

95 points 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(+?)  (6/ 2010)

95 points Wine Spectator

 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)

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Price: $449.00

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.