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Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points: “Stunning on every level, the 2018 Proprietary Red Wine reveals a dense purple hue as well as an incredible bouquet of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed stone, iron, violets, and tobacco. Reminding me of a hypothetical blend of Ducru Beaucaillou and Pontet Canet from a great, classical vintage (or a more elegant version of the 2013 for simplicity), it’s medium to full-bodied, perfectly balanced, powerful yet elegant, and has a finish that won’t quit. This is pure gold in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s already drinkable yet will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and have 40 years of prime drinking.”
Robert Parker: 100 Points: “The 2018 Harlan Estate was tasted as a barrel sample, to be bottled in March. Deep garnet-purple in color, it needs a fair bit of swirling to reveal a wonderfully fragrant perfume of blueberry pie, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries, and black currant pastilles with hints of cumin seed, rose oil, and black olives. Medium to full-bodied, the taut, grainy-textured palate delivers remarkable energy with compelling tension and a long, graceful, earth-laced finish.”
The Wine Independent (Lisa Perotti-Brown, formerly with Robert Parker) 100 Points: “The 2018 Harlan Estate is deep purple-black colored. The nose slowly unfurls to offer fragrant floral notes of roses and lilacs with hints of cinnamon and cumin seed over a core of plum preserves, star anise, cedar chest, and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a firm, exquisitely ripe tannins and fantastic tension, supporting the many tightly wound black fruits, floral, and exotic spice layers, finishing with an epically long, lingering, and wonderfully nuanced perfume. This elegant, sophisticated, cerebral face of Harlan is something of a departure from its rich, hedonic reputation, which I also love. But, to hand it to the next-gen team, this is simply stunning. Bravo!”
Vinous 99 Points; “The 2018 Harlan Estate is deep, plush, and full of potential. But the potential is the key word here, as the 2018 is also very reticent today. Its depth, power, and pedigree are all obviously apparent. It is an atypical wine for Napa, as the acids, tannin, and structure are all pretty prominent. Hints of black cherry, gravel, spice, menthol, and lavender gradually open with some coaxing. The 2018 is a remarkable wine. I remember tasting it for the first time in Spring 2019, when it came across as a bit light. Perhaps that was a reflection of early blending and a wine that had not bounced back from that. Since then, the 2018 has gained in richness and volume, while retaining the finessed style that is such a signature here these days.”
Wine Spectator 99 Points: “A classic example of 2018 Napa Cabernet, this has a deep well of fruit in the form of black currant, blackberry and boysenberry reduction laced liberally with notes of smoldering tobacco, warm earth, and tar, which compete for attention on the muscular yet driven finish. Subtle bay leaf and cast iron echoes at the very end add intrigue. This should be among the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Best from 2024 through 2045.”
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