2005 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1046712 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Its bigger brother, or sister, depending on the point of view, is the extremely young, fresh, vigorous, yet still exuberant and promising 2005 Harlan Estate. Normally, the blends on these wines tend to be 85%-90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny proportions of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and possibly some Petit Verdot, although I don’t recall that being a very important part of the estate vineyard. The 2005 is incredibly youthful at age ten, although certainly drinkable. And who wouldn’t consume it if they had the opportunity? It will benefit from another 5-10 years of cellaring and certainly has 30 or more years left in its evolutionary curve. Gorgeous, and tasting akin to a hypothetical Pauillac blended with a great Pessac-Léognan from Bordeaux comes to mind because of the smoky, subtle barbecue notes, fruitcake, forest floor, graphite and minerality. The wine has stunning fruit and a full-bodied, powerful richness, yet is still nimble on its feet. This is a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from an absolutely magnificent hillside vineyard in the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the Oakville corridor on the valley floor. This opaque, garnet/purple wine is another tour de force and, once again, proves that Harlan Estate is not only one of the greatest wines of California, but of the world.  (6/2015)

97 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full bright ruby. A black hole of a nose: cassis, black raspberry, mocha and licorice, with a suggestion of almost roasted fruits. Then utterly palate-saturating, with a distinctly layered texture to the dark fruit and mineral flavors. Impeccably balanced, fresh wine with a spectacular slow-building finish that coats the palate with a flavor of black raspberry. A knockout.  (5/2008)

97 points Vinous

 Full medium ruby. Very ripe aromas and flavors of black raspberry, mocha, minerals and licorice. Wonderfully sweet and full in the mouth, offering sensational depth and palate coverage. Still very young but offers great sex appeal already owing to its sheer richness of flavor. Finishes with noble, seamless, fully ripe tannins and explosive rising length. (ST)  (5/2016)

96 points James Suckling

 This is very, very floral with sage, black currants, black berries, and hot stones. Full bodied, with blackberry, black olives, and cashmere like tannins. It finishes broad and is completely captivating. This is starting to come around, but be patient for another two years. Pull the cork in 2012.  (2/2011)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Smells a bit minty and peppery, but once in the mouth, turns ultra-generous in black currant, chocolate-covered mint and spicy cedar flavors. Massive, yet refined and elegant, and even with the firm tannins, grows more charming as it warms in the glass. Very fine quality, and likely to hold for many years.  (5/2009)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Tightly wound and closed, with notes of pencil lead and shavings, graphite, mineral and dried berry. The flavors are intense and persistent, without too much weight. This is graceful in its own way.--Non-blind Harlan retrospective (2010). Drink now through 2028. 1,850 cases made. –JL (Web Only - 2010)

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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.