2003 Harlan Estate

Red Bordeaux Blend

America / California / Napa Valley / Oakville

$1,375
JD 93
RP 98
V 95
Size:
Quantity:

2003 Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, USA

 With the founding of Harlan Estate in 1984, we embarked upon our mission of creating a “first growth” of California. The estate’s early vineyard development began with just six acres. Today our planting is essentially complete, with nearly forty acres under vine to the classic varietals: cabernet sauvignon (70%), merlot (20%), cabernet franc (8%), and petit verdot (2%).

Invariably, the finished wine is predominately cabernet sauvignon, which we blend with varying amounts of the other three varietals as we seek to express faithfully the unique and distinctive character of the site. Modest quantities of wine were produced in 1987, 1988, and 1989 from grapes that represented the second, third, and fourth leaf of our estate vineyard.

In each of those years a small number of barrels were produced in the hope of gaining a prescient glimpse into what the character of the land—never before cultivated—might have to offer. The wines were blended, bottled, and labeled with a special designation. Though charming in their own way, these first wines fell short of our standards and aspirations, so were never released. They continue to serve as humble reminders of where we began the journey.

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a luxurious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes from the acclaimed Harlan Estate vineyard in Napa Valley, California. This vintage is considered to be one of the best produced by the winery, earning critical acclaim for its depth, complexity, and overall balance.

On the nose, the 2003 Harlan Estate exhibits aromas of black cherries, blackberries, and cassis, layered with subtle notes of vanilla, oak spice, and licorice. On the palate, the wine is powerful and full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a velvety texture. Flavors of black fruit, espresso, and dark chocolate are harmoniously entwined, leading to a long and satisfying finish.

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a wine that is best enjoyed, as it benefits from exposure to air to fully express its complex flavors and aromas. It is a wine that is well-suited for pairing with rich and hearty dishes such as roasted meats, game, or aged cheese.

Overall, the 2003 Harlan Estate is a true masterpiece of winemaking, showcasing the elegant and complex nature of Napa Valley wines. It is a wine that is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike, and will continue to age gracefully for many years to come.

JD 93

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a huge, almost over the top beauty that doesn’t hold anything back in its deep plum and currant fruits, cedar, toasty oak and licorice aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, a sweet, massive texture and a big finish, it stays nicely balanced and enjoyable but has a dry, slightly rustic edge to its tannin that will need to be watched going forward. Reviewed by Jeb Dunnuck, December 2017. Drinking window: 2017-2032.
RP 98

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

(Rating 98+) One of the most backward yet promising wines of the vintage is the 2003 Harlan Estate. Its dense opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, smoky barbecue wood and a hint of forest floor. Similar flavors hit the mouth with full-bodied splendor, a multidimensional mouthfeel and texture, and the sensational finish lasts more than 45 seconds. Some tannins are still present, and this wine seems much younger than expected at ten years of age, so give it 4-5 more years of bottle age and consume it over the following 20-25 years. One of the most stunningly beautiful vineyards in all of Napa Valley, Harlan Estate is located in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the Oakville Corridor. Harlan has been making world-class, first growth quality wines since the debut vintages of 1990 and 1991. Virtually nothing has been changed by winemaker Bob Levy, owner Bill Harlan and globe-trotting consultant Michel Rolland. The wine is largely all Cabernet Sauvignon and the production from the 40-acre vineyard is usually under 2,000 cases. The vineyard has a surprising composition of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Most blends lean heavily on the Cabernet Sauvignon with slightly more Cabernet Franc being utilized over recent vintages. Following the great 2001 and 2002 vintages, 2003 is the type of vintage that has a tendency to be forgotten, but the two 2003s prove that the site’s great pedigree is never easy to dismiss. Reviewed by Robert M. Parker, Jr. Issue date: June 2013. Drinking window: 2017-2042.
V 95

Vinous

Good deep ruby-red. Blackcurrant, minerals, graphite, mocha and leather on the nose. Sweet and tightly wound, with a violet topnote and terrific depth of flavor. This powerfully structured wine has plenty of meat on its bones. The tannins are huge but refined. This must be among the three or four longest wines of the vintage, with the violet quality persisting on the aftertaste. (I retasted the 2002 on this occasion, and this elixir of a wine continues to be one of the greatest California cabernets of my experience, with a knockout nose of black raspberry, minerals, tobacco and crushed stone; a super concentrated essence of cabernet on the palate; and an almost confectionery finish of incredible persistence. My latest sample merited a solid 98.) Reviewed by Stephen Tanzer, Issue date: May 2006. Drinking window: n/a.

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FREE SHIPPING INSURANCE: We provide FREE carrier insurance for lost or damaged shipments (per carrier terms and conditions.)

FREE WINE STORAGE: We provide FREE 6 Months wine cellar storage from date of purchase. Please choose this option at checkout and we will coordinate shipping for a later date.

SHIPPING: During warm summer weather, we recommend to only ship within the United States with Same Day or Next Day Air service to protect the wines from environmental damage. If you would like to waive this protection by shipping Ground, we will request a waiver be signed.

PACKAGING: Our premium wines need optimal temperature consistency, therefore are packaged in EPS foam shippers with gel pack (when needed) and shipped only during ideal weather temperatures.

For OWC (Original Wooden Case) orders, wine bottles will be removed from case and shipped inside a foam shipper box for safety (unless otherwise requested). The wooden case will be shipped separately at Ground service. If faster service is necessary please contact us.

WEATHER HOLD: In adverse temperature conditions, we reserve the right to withhold shipment until ideal temperatures return unless we receive explicit instructions via email to release the wines, voiding any guarantee. We will contact you if a hold is necessary.

FULFILLMENT: Shipments are via UPS.

  • Orders received Monday - Thursday before 2:00 p.m. will typically ship the same day.
  • Orders received Thursday 2:00 p.m. ~ Sunday will ship on Monday.

DELIVERY:

  • Same Day service within Los Angeles Metro area may be available if order is placed before noon, but not guaranteed. Please contact us directly at (626)714-7006 to facilitate expedited service.
  • During extreme temperatures, all shipments are recommended for Next Day Air.

Adult Signature: By law, all shipments of alcohol must be received and authorized by an adult. Our delivery carriers will not release packages without an adult signature and additional charges may be incurred if the package requires withholding or redirection.

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We ship within the United States to: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

  • CRITICAL REVIEWS
  • WINEMAKER NOTES
JD 93

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a huge, almost over the top beauty that doesn’t hold anything back in its deep plum and currant fruits, cedar, toasty oak and licorice aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, a sweet, massive texture and a big finish, it stays nicely balanced and enjoyable but has a dry, slightly rustic edge to its tannin that will need to be watched going forward. Reviewed by Jeb Dunnuck, December 2017. Drinking window: 2017-2032.
RP 98

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

(Rating 98+) One of the most backward yet promising wines of the vintage is the 2003 Harlan Estate. Its dense opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of graphite, camphor, creme de cassis, smoky barbecue wood and a hint of forest floor. Similar flavors hit the mouth with full-bodied splendor, a multidimensional mouthfeel and texture, and the sensational finish lasts more than 45 seconds. Some tannins are still present, and this wine seems much younger than expected at ten years of age, so give it 4-5 more years of bottle age and consume it over the following 20-25 years. One of the most stunningly beautiful vineyards in all of Napa Valley, Harlan Estate is located in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the Oakville Corridor. Harlan has been making world-class, first growth quality wines since the debut vintages of 1990 and 1991. Virtually nothing has been changed by winemaker Bob Levy, owner Bill Harlan and globe-trotting consultant Michel Rolland. The wine is largely all Cabernet Sauvignon and the production from the 40-acre vineyard is usually under 2,000 cases. The vineyard has a surprising composition of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Most blends lean heavily on the Cabernet Sauvignon with slightly more Cabernet Franc being utilized over recent vintages. Following the great 2001 and 2002 vintages, 2003 is the type of vintage that has a tendency to be forgotten, but the two 2003s prove that the site’s great pedigree is never easy to dismiss. Reviewed by Robert M. Parker, Jr. Issue date: June 2013. Drinking window: 2017-2042.
V 95

Vinous

Good deep ruby-red. Blackcurrant, minerals, graphite, mocha and leather on the nose. Sweet and tightly wound, with a violet topnote and terrific depth of flavor. This powerfully structured wine has plenty of meat on its bones. The tannins are huge but refined. This must be among the three or four longest wines of the vintage, with the violet quality persisting on the aftertaste. (I retasted the 2002 on this occasion, and this elixir of a wine continues to be one of the greatest California cabernets of my experience, with a knockout nose of black raspberry, minerals, tobacco and crushed stone; a super concentrated essence of cabernet on the palate; and an almost confectionery finish of incredible persistence. My latest sample merited a solid 98.) Reviewed by Stephen Tanzer, Issue date: May 2006. Drinking window: n/a.

2003 Harlan Estate, Napa Valley, USA

 With the founding of Harlan Estate in 1984, we embarked upon our mission of creating a “first growth” of California. The estate’s early vineyard development began with just six acres. Today our planting is essentially complete, with nearly forty acres under vine to the classic varietals: cabernet sauvignon (70%), merlot (20%), cabernet franc (8%), and petit verdot (2%).

Invariably, the finished wine is predominately cabernet sauvignon, which we blend with varying amounts of the other three varietals as we seek to express faithfully the unique and distinctive character of the site. Modest quantities of wine were produced in 1987, 1988, and 1989 from grapes that represented the second, third, and fourth leaf of our estate vineyard.

In each of those years a small number of barrels were produced in the hope of gaining a prescient glimpse into what the character of the land—never before cultivated—might have to offer. The wines were blended, bottled, and labeled with a special designation. Though charming in their own way, these first wines fell short of our standards and aspirations, so were never released. They continue to serve as humble reminders of where we began the journey.

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a luxurious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes from the acclaimed Harlan Estate vineyard in Napa Valley, California. This vintage is considered to be one of the best produced by the winery, earning critical acclaim for its depth, complexity, and overall balance.

On the nose, the 2003 Harlan Estate exhibits aromas of black cherries, blackberries, and cassis, layered with subtle notes of vanilla, oak spice, and licorice. On the palate, the wine is powerful and full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a velvety texture. Flavors of black fruit, espresso, and dark chocolate are harmoniously entwined, leading to a long and satisfying finish.

The 2003 Harlan Estate is a wine that is best enjoyed, as it benefits from exposure to air to fully express its complex flavors and aromas. It is a wine that is well-suited for pairing with rich and hearty dishes such as roasted meats, game, or aged cheese.

Overall, the 2003 Harlan Estate is a true masterpiece of winemaking, showcasing the elegant and complex nature of Napa Valley wines. It is a wine that is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike, and will continue to age gracefully for many years to come.

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