The 2013 Harlan Estate has really shut down since I tasted it from barrel a year ago. Dark, powerful and brooding, with plenty of tannic grip, the 2013 is a wine to buy and forget about for at least a few years. Black fruit, graphite, violet smoke and licorice are some of the signatures, but, here, too, the wine belongs to the future. I wouldn’t dream of opening a bottle before its tenth birthday. The Harlan Estate is one of the most finessed – if not the most finessed 2013 – readers will taste. This is a stunningly beautiful, vivid wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2038
Robert Parker 100
As I predicted last year, the 2013 Harlan Estate is one of their all-time greats, although they have had many of them, starting with the 1991, followed by 1994, 1995, 1997 (although controversial in some circles), 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. This great first-growth property, with aspirations to produce the finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine made in the New World, has given us a wine that has it all in 2013. Dense purple to the rim, with notes of espresso, white chocolate, mocha, blackberry, cassis, and cedar wood, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, but also structured, pure and incredibly long (well past a minute aftertaste). It is probably closest in personality and overall character to the compelling 2001, which is still a youthful wine at age 15. Drink it over the next 50+ years.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2066
Magnum. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, remainder: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot. Let me confess up front that I am an enormous fan of the 2013. The structural presence and precision of this wine is impressive. The wine should age extremely well although it needs more time in bottle. If one does open it now, allow plenty of air and a cut of steak with a bit of fat to help open up the tannin profile and release the flavours of the wine. A beautiful mix of elements on the nose carries into the palate with ripe, dark fruits accented by a red-fruit lift sprinkled with spice, and nicely grounded by gunmetal and earth notes. There is just a bit of pepper through the close. Beautifully hearty tannin and a lot of length. An entirely distinctive vintage. (ECB)
Anticipated maturity: 2030-2055