In 1983, when Bill Harlan bought an estate in a steep, forested area of Oakville, his aim was to create a Napa
Valley First Growth. Whether he has come that far is open to argument, but he certainly has come close. A slew of 100-point scores from Robert Parker have catapulted the wine’s reputation, not to mention its price tag, since the first vintage was released in 1996
Harlan's boldly flavored, multi-layered and expensive red wine comes from a 40 acre vineyard, planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon
, 20% Merlot
, 8% Cabernet Franc
and 2% Petit Verdot. The flagship wine, one of the bluest of California’s
blue-chip collectibles, is sumptuous and powerful but also elegant and very complex, capable of aging 25-30 years. The Maiden, Harlan’s second wine displays many of the characteristics of its big sister, but is a little easier on the wallet.
About Napa Valley
Napa Valley is the most famous wine-growing area in the U.S. It begins at the base of Mount St. Helena in the north and tapers off some 30 miles to the south into the floodplain where the Napa River enters San Francisco Bay. From Mount St. Helena to the city of Napa, the valley is defined by two north-south ridgelines of the Coast Range Mountains.
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