2018 Harlan Estate + 2017 Harlan Maiden

First time receiving an offer from such a “cult” winery… Not surprised by the price, but just wanted an opinion from people - are the new Harlan styles really that much better than the older styles (2001-2008), or is the price increases simply inflation (rather than demand)?

The release price I got for the 2018 was $2850/3pk. I can often find older vintages for cheaper and was just wondering if there were differences in styles.


I’m also interested in the same question as my first allocation came. I struggle with 3 bottles being the same as 6 '19 Mouton’s (futures). I’m not trying to compare them as I understand they’re different but man…

Price increase is most definitely to line the pockets of Bill.

The VA and over the top ETOH and extraction has been the Harlan calling card for over a decade now. The last bottle that I actually enjoyed was a 2004 last year.

Go buy a mixed case of William & Mary.

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The Bills agree here.

I dropped off their list recently due to the price increase. $1000 per bottle is just nuts…

Geez, and I thought scarecrow was expensive!

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It might be easier to get Harlan than William and Mary

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Looking at it that way, it makes the price even more absurd.

Getting an “allocation” isn’t hard at all. I signed up for their list years ago and they sent me offers for 5+ years despite me never ordering.

I’d buy cheaper, better wine…


I had to pass. Was also my first time getting an allocation and at this point in the year I had spent all of my wine dollars (3x fold). As much as I would like to pop a bottle of Harlan or Promontory I can’t get myself to pull the trigger to buy at release prices. I feel like if I did I would never find the right occasion to open one and then if I ever pulled the cork I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed…

I received my first allocation today - 3 or 6 bottles of the 2017 Maiden, at a more “reasonable” price of $325 per bottle compared with Harlan Estate. I have never tasted the Maiden before and am considering purchasing 3 bottles. What is the general assessment of The Maiden? Thanks.

Wow, you could get almost 120 cases of Two Buck Chuck at that price.

I’m not really asking if the price is worth it (I’m sure we can all agree that it isn’t) or what I should be purchasing instead (I just placed my order for Greer!). I just want to know if the style is drastically different from what it was around 13 years ago. There must have been a reason that the price skyrocketed, when no other Napa Cab (besides SE) has such a high price tag, and no other Napa Cab raised their prices so significantly (as far as I know).

In other words, why would I purchase this vintage, when I can get (IMO) better vintages from the mid-2000’s that are aged for half the cost?

Bill, thanks for the input regarding the winemaking differences.

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The reason is they were one of the original CA cults. People could take their allocation and immediately flip it. But 6, sell 3, drink 3 for free. Harlan realized that and decided to start pricing their wines at market value. So they made some big jumps a few years in a row until they reached market value and now for several years they’ve been increasing still albeit more slowly. Now they pocket all the profit instead of the flippers. Their list has no value and that’s why it’s so easy to get on it. I got on the list for the 2013 release and realized this and never bought again. The 2013s scored 100 points and still aren’t worth a dollar more than the $800 I paid at release.

He doesn’t have to actually sell wine to anyone. The winery will run itself regardless. It’s a vanity bottle and it’s market is not for those that ask questions.

Allocation price was $700 for 2013 and retail is around $1000 depending on where you buy in CA (wine-searcher). Obviously, an occasional deal at auction. I have a feeling the retail cost will only trend up as they continue to raise their allocation pricing. Plenty of deals on older vintages, but then again, you take the chance. I paid $500 a couple years ago for 1999 Harlan through a reputable dealer and it was oxidized, total shame. Had I purchased direct, Harlan would like replace it. Btw, I haven’t confirmed that, but I know Opus One has this protocol. Although, purchasing direct might have alleviated any possibility of that.

I think it was actually $750. I still have the receipt. $2300.50 for 3 bottles including tax and shipping. Definitely went up to $800 the next year. And maybe the retail price is $1000 but you can’t sell it for more than $750 at best. It’s nothing like it used to be. It used to be like MacDonald and Screagle still is.

2018 is already released? Is this “securing” the allocation with shipping later … I thought I just got ‘16 this winter/spring? Anyways at $1k/bottle, I’m out. I have enough older Harlan to survive many a special occasion (91, 92, 93, 97, 01, 02, 04 and a few half bottles of 12) as well as a few bottles of 13 and 16 to hold on to for a while, and I’m not necessarily convinced that it’s a wine that will continue to appreciate (I.e. little downside risk) above where it currently is. I could be wrong, obviously, but I’m not seeing anyone spending $2k on Harlan in 5-10 years.

Yes you order and it’s shipped in 2 years.