1994 Harlan Estate Red Wine Napa Valley

1994 Harlan Estate Red Wine Napa Valley

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Expert Ratings and Reviews

100 Points Wine Advocate
97 Points Wine Spectator, 2004
97 Points Wine Spectator, 1998

Customer Ratings

Based on 6 ratings

I drank this along side a 1995 Ch. Margaux and the 1994 Harlan was the winner by a long shot (and the Margaux was excellent as well). The balance was amazing and the finish was long and soft. Save this one for a very special occasion (as if the price didn't already dictate that!).

The Big Boy from Napa

Harlan Estate! What is left to say about it. Well, it's good, but Chateau Latour is good too. Do you drink a young Latour in a good year? Let's say, 1961. Would you have drunk 1961 Latour in 1970 or would you wait until now?! People do say that California is no Bordeaux, but, well, Harlan is. That's why I may wait a bit to drink such a rare jewel from Harlan Estate. The wine is big, huge, intense and concentrated. Tannin is big and balanced. The fruit is very present, but the wine need so much more time. So, be patient and drink St Mambert from Pauillac if you want to have fun !

Good but not an ager for me

Look Harlan is a good solid wine that deserves about 92+ for a rating. When I left a bottle out, it quickly gave up the ghost, which is a tip-off to me that the stuff doesn't age as well as some people have been saying. I have a couple of cases of this if anyone is interested.

Napa Valley 1994

The 1994 vintage was the type of year California winemakers would take every time if they could — a long, mild growing season nearly free of extremes of temperature or rainfall. The good conditions resulted in beautiful, ripe, and powerful wines with superb concentration, depth, richness, and balance. Twenty years on, the best are still in their prime.

One of the only minor concerns was during a period of hot weather in early August that caused some uneven clusters at veraison, but the problem was solved by careful crop-thinning to remove them. As harvest approached, beautiful Indian summer conditions settled in, prolonging hang-times and allowing the grapes to achieve fantastic levels of physiological ripeness. A tremendous year of classic, powerful yet balanced wines that have stood the test of time.

Key Dates

Bud break off to a late start, but days were sunny and dry

Snowstorm hit North Coast late in the month, and hail in Napa Valley; no damage, because flowering had not occurred yet

Heavy rains (Carneros and Central Coast)

A two-week period of hot weather at the beginning of August created some uneven coloration during veraison, and growers compensated by thinning fruit to allow only the best grapes to reach maturation

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