1996 Harlan Estate Napa

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(98 Points) “The 1996 Proprietary Red Wine appears to be one of the vintage's most noteworthy offerings. Some 1996s tend to be rustic, with more obtrusive tannin than their 1995 and 1994 counterparts, but that charge cannot be made here. The 1996 exhibits a tell-tale opaque purple/plum color, as well as a spectacular soaring nose of wood fire, roasted herbs, black currants, tobacco, minerals, and all spice. The wine is full-bodied and multi-layered, with terrific flavor concentration, well-integrated tannin, and a blockbuster finish. This is another candidate for perfection. As accolades spilled from my mouth like a baby dribbling milk, I was told the wine had been bottled the day before my visit! Anticipated maturity: 2004-2035. Proprietor Bill Harlan, his winemaker, Bob Levy, and consultant, Frenchman Michel Rolland continue to produce what may be the single most profound wine in California. This wine possesses all the elements of greatness - individuality, power combined with elegance, extraordinary complexity, remarkable aging potential, and compelling richness without ponderousness. The vintages produced to date give signs of improving in the bottle for 20-30 years. In 1995, a second wine, which has not yet been named, has been produced, which allows the selection process to be even more severe once the 35-acre vineyard is in full production. Recent production has been 1,500 cases for the 1994, 1,200 cases for the 1995, 1,500 for the 1996, and approximately 2,500 cases for the 1997. Many readers who have been on the waiting list for Harlan Estate may finally receive an allocation in 1997. This year produced the highest yields to date (a still modest 2.7 tons per acre) at this hillside vineyard.†Wine Advocate #120 (Dec 1998)

  • List Price: $750.00

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