1997 Harlan Estate Harlan Estate, Oakville, California, USA
100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (December 2000)
The 1997 Harlan Estate is one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines I have ever tasted. A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this enormously-endowed, profoundly rich wine must be tasted to be believed. Opaque purple-colored, it boasts spectacular, soaring aromatics of vanilla, minerals, coffee, blackberries, licorice, and cassis.
In the mouth, layer after layer unfold powerfully yet gently. Acidity, tannin, and alcohol are well-balanced by the wine's unreal richness and singular personality. The finish exceeds one minute. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2030.
97 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (May 2000)
Saturated ruby. Liqueur-like superripe nose combines roasted cherry, black raspberry, minerals and Valrhona chocolate; distinctly port-like notes. Voluptuous and huge in the mouth, with explosive fruit bordering on confectionary; flavor of chocolate-covered currants.
Much more powerfully structured than the estate second wine but the backbone is hidden under a tidal wave of lush fruit. Endless finish features extraordinarily fine, suave tannins. Like the '97 Bryant Family Vineyard cabernet, this freakishly ripe wine reminds me of a great '47 Pomerol.