The 1997 Harlan Estate has long been a controversial wine because of some bottle variation. There is no question about this 1997 magnum. The wine is unquestionably extraordinary. Rich and opulent to the core, the 1997 possesses tremendous intensity from start to finish. Blackberry jam, licorice, chocolate and sweet spice lead into a crescendo of aromas and flavors on the finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2037
Magnum. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, remainder: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot. With a lightly candied nose, notes of violet and lavender as well as butter-cooked mushrooms carry across the palate. Vibrant acidity washes a palate of powder-fine and persistent tannin integrated with spice. A bit of pepper emerges in the finish. This is the first vintage (going young to old) in which the alcohol is evident through a touch of heat on the close. Allow plenty of air upon opening and enjoy slowly to allow the wine to evolve in the glass. (ECB)
Anticipated maturity: 2007-2033
Robert Parker 90
Here we go. This is pure Napa on the nose: rich black fruits, raspberry, mulberry, a touch of black olive and a hefty dose of new oak. The palate is admittedly well balanced with a firm, dense structure, very opulent with layers of toasty black fruit, touches of cassis and even a touch of turmeric towards the slightly savoury finish, but I find little in the way of tension, crispness or freshness. This Cabernet expends a great deal of effort in impressing, but to me it’s like joining the dots rather than painting a picture. Drink now-2018. Tasted June 2010.
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018