Massive, decadent. Opens with extraordinary aromas of cedar, black currants, cherries, chocolate, sage, pepper and anise, with hits of roasted game. Feels very round, smooth but powerful. Almost sweet in red and black currants and chocolate. So refined, absolutely delicious. Beautiful, lush, complex, soft. Should age.
Not unexpectedly, the 2005 Harlan Estate performed slightly better than it did last year. As these wines often do, it continues to put on weight as it is bottled very late by Napa standards, and there is no fining or filtration. The 2005 exhibits a gorgeous thick-looking, ruby/purple color in addition to a beautiful nose of burning embers interwoven with creme de cassis, roasted meats, sweet black truffles, and spring flowers. A hint of lead pencil shavings also emerges from this cuvee, which seems to want to be both a Pauillac and a ripe vintage of La Mission Haut Brion. Full-bodied, dense, pure, and revealing sweeter tannin than I remember, it can be drunk now, but it will no doubt display even greater complexity in 10, 20, and 30 years.
"Harlan Estate might be the single most profound red wine made not just in California, but in the world."
- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate
"Winemakers believe that the land speaks to them of possibilities. A winemaker's goal is to express those possibilities, to capture the best of what the land has to offer."
- Bob Levy, Director of Winegrowing
The true beginning of Harlan Estate dates to 1984 in the western hills of Oakville, California, the heart of Napa Valley. The Harlan family had a plan to create a California equivalent of a Bordeaux first growth, producing a wine that would command global praise. Harlan is known for their estate wine, and their second label, The Maiden. In 1997, Harlan founded BOND in collaboration with winemaker Bob Levy to again produce more prestigious wines from Napa Valley. It's hard to say exactly why the wines are as good as they are, except to point to obvious factors, such as location, terroir and the talents of Harlan's longtime team, but they have undoubtedly earned their supreme cult status.
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