TN: 1994 Harlan Estate (USA, California, Napa Valley)

  • 1994 Harlan Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/5/2012)
    Drunk over the span of a 4 hour lazy lunch. I brought 3 different bottles and asked my friend to pick a number and that we drink the wine blind. Fyi the other bottles were a 2002 Ridge Monte Bello and a 2002 Abreu Thorevilos - clearly my friend hit the right number! The following note was from memory before we were told which wine had been drunk: No decant. Initial aromas of cherry, pain grillé, sweetness reverberated from the glass with a touch of acidity. The palate was somewhat disjointed with a great initial sharp thrust, followed by a lull, and then a teasing, promising finish. Upon the first bite of food (carpaccio w/ truffle), this came to life as if the food caused all the components to mesh into a seamless, unctuous, delicious wine. With time, the flavors kept soaring (no descriptives as we were deeply entrenched in conversation) and the wine just kept improving. I was more than happy to chew on the sediment which found its way into my glass! As state by others, the appearance and exuberance of this wine defy it’s age and you’d be forgiven for believing this was less than 10 years old. This is a very special wine and I will make it a point to follow it every so often. In light of $1,000+ bottles of 2009 Bordeaux, I’m more than happy opening ready to drink (and with years of life ahead) 1994 Harlans. 50+10+9+20+10=99+ (99 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

What’s the “9”?


One of my regrets is not buying this for $300 a few years ago. More than one person has told me its the best Cal Cab they ever had.

Terrific note. Thanks for the data point.

Is this the one with the huge bottle variation [the bad bottles having a great deal of volatile acidity]?

Or is that the 1997?

97’ is the variation.
The 94’ is a brilliant wine and for me a top ten lifetime wine.

I’ve had two bottles of the 96, and boy they were good!

Personally, I think the 94 Harlan was the pinnacle of their wines.


To date it would appear so. However, I’m very hopeful that the 2007 should follow a similar career path.