Reviews & Scores
Damp earth, dried cassis and charcoal ember aromas. Immaculate balance on the palate, with deep, concentrated dark fruits that stop just shy of opulence. The rusticity of the vintage peers through this density, with flavours of dried sage and roasted plum. Charred, smoldering and brooding on the finish. As always with Harlan Estate, this is a wine of relative restraint and long-term focus, not a smashing powerhouse. Just beginning the second phase of what should be a long life.
Classically cool vintage with steely blue and purple fruits lifted by floral aromatics and carried across the palate by lengthy acidity. The acidity is slightly more apparent than in the younger vintages but it works well for the wine. Beautifully fine-grained, elegant tannin, well tempered by age. There is definitely more of a floral element here than in other vintages and it brings a lovely lifted component to the wine, but at the same time the wine is savoury and palate-stimulating. The combination of floral notes with savoury depth brings a lot of layers to an otherwise compact wine. It is also interesting to taste the 2011 alongside the 2012. While the 2012 feels pretty and lifted, the 2011 is a bit more thoughtful and reflective; both are nicely delivered wines but in very different moods. This is a wine to drink slowly as there is a lot to offer here but with a quieter voice. Quite distinctive in the line-up and lovely. I am a fan of this wine but also recognise it has a lighter feel and quieter mood, and more apparent acidity than others in this flight.
The 2011 Harlan Estate is super-expressive and textured in the glass. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and new leather open up as the wine sits in the glass. Decidedly mid-weight and gracious, the 2011 impresses for its exceptional balance and sense of proportion. Harlan Estate is capable of myriad of expressions. In 2011, the more feminine side of the property comes through. Although not a blockbuster, the 2011 is incredibly beautiful, especially considering how challenging the year was.
Fabulous floral aromas of currants, flowers, stones and rosemary stem. Purity. Full body with a fabulous backbone of chewy tannins with a gorgeous austerity. Elegance with power.
More dense, tannic, complex and fuller-bodied than Harlan's 2011 The Maiden is the 2011 Harlan Estate. Its plum/purple color is followed by a sweet perfume of camphor, blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, Christmas fruitcake and hints of forest floor and underbrush.
A powerful expression of Cabernet reminiscent of a young Ausone, this is dense, extracted, layered and nuanced, showing fresh earth and rocky soil notes. Once past the chewiness, the ripe currant, plum and wild berry flavors persist.