2001 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1022988 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This wine, which first debuted in 1990, has probably garnered more perfect scores than any other Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. [It's] just entering a young adolescent stage of development, exhibiting extraordinary nuances such as sweet, loamy soil and earthy minerality intermixed with some background smoke, black currant liqueur, plum, Asian spice and new saddle leather. Full-bodied, it possesses great intensity, with stunning flavors that are viscous enough to coat the mouth, but never become heavy or overbearing. The wine has a remarkable purity, concentration and intensity that should carry it for another 30+ years. This is already very promising, and for those who own it, I would suggest a good two to three hours of decanting prior to service. (RP)  (6/2011)

98 points Decanter

 The 2001 Harlan Estate is strikingly exuberant and precocious. Vivid aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, tar, liquorice, rich soil tones and a hint of mint explode from the glass. On the palate this wine is notably rich and concentrated, but retains its balance and poise - a high-wire act at these levels of ripeness and new oak. Really a singular wine, and one of the benchmarks for this paradigm of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. (WK)

98 points Vinous

 One of the highlights in this tasting, the 2001 Harlan Estate is simply majestic. Powerful, explosive and dense, the 2001 soars out of the glass with an exotic mélange of aromas, flavors and textures that grabs hold of all the senses. The 2001 is an especially virile, potent Harlan Estate that will drink well for 20 years or more. Today it is very impressive. Two thousand one was current winemaker Cory Empting's first vintage at Harlan Estate. (AG)  (9/2017)

97 points Wine Spectator

 Firm and intense, with gripping tannins wrapped around dark berry, black licorice, graphite, cedar and tar. Slow to unfold but does so impressively, gaining strength, depth and vitality; appears a great candidate to go another 10 to 15 years with ease. Drink now through 2025. (JL, Web Only-2011)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Roasted black fruits, leather, licorice, bitter chocolate and mint on the complex, youthfully medicinal nose. Hugely sweet, fat and pliant, with solid structure currently covered by baby fat. The wine's brilliant vinosity became more apparent as it opened in the glass. Finishes with noble, sweet tannins and superb palate-staining persistence. A compellingly layered, deep wine that's likely to develop in bottle for 15 or 20 years. I kept raising my score as I went back for yet another taste, and yet it's possible that the 2002 will be even better. (ST)  (5/2004)

Jancis Robinson

 Heady and rich - and very flattering on the nose. Hint of malt and chocolate. Surely this has to be US? Alcohol on the finish but this is a wine that is impossible to spit. Manages to beguile and not bad complexity. The most flattering wine of all on the palate in terms of texture but still appetising on the end. The tannins which are there are almost hidden. 18.5/20 points. (JR)  (2/2008)

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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 M├ędoc 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.

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.


- 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.
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.